Taco Bell says employees can wear Black Lives Matter masks after a worker was fired for wearing one
Do protests ever enact real change? Yes. But not all movements are created equal. Here's the ingredients of a successful movement. USA TODAY
Taco Bell said Thursday that it doesn't prohibit its employees from wearing Black Lives Matter masks and was working closely with an Ohio franchise after a former employee said he was fired for wearing a mask supporting the movement.
Denzel Skinner shared a live video on Facebook June 8 about getting fired from a location in Youngstown, Ohio, for refusing to take off a Black Lives Matter mask. The video started going viral Thursday.
“We believe Black Lives Matter. We were disappointed to learn about the incident that took place in Youngstown, OH," Taco Bell said in a statement to USA TODAY. "We take this very seriously; we have been working closely with our franchisee that operates this location to address the issue."
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Skinner said he worked for the restaurant for eight years.
“This is crazy – all because I got a Black Lives Matter mask on – that I’m losing my job,” Skinner said in the video. “We can wear any type of masks.”
In the video, an unidentified woman, possibly a manager, told Skinner the masks had to be plain and “You can’t bring politics into the building.”
Skinner responded that it wasn’t politics.
"Bro, I'm not bringing politics in, this is what I'm standing for,” Skinner said. “Like how is this considered politics?"
The fast-food chain said in its statement to USA TODAY that the company's chief people office and parent company Yum!’s chief diversity and inclusion officer spoke with Skinner last week to "apologize and discuss the situation."
"Our goal is to ensure our policies are inclusive and keep our team members and customers safe," Taco Bell's statement said. "While our policies at restaurants do not prohibit Team Members from wearing Black Lives Matter masks, we are working to clarify our mask policy so this doesn’t happen again.”
Last week, Starbucks said it was allowing its baristas and other employees to wear @KellyTyko