In-N-Out Punished By CA Bay Area Counties for Not Checking Vaccination Status
San Francisco’s only In-N-Out Burger was closed by the City’s Health Department when the restaurant refused to check customers for proof of vaccination. The City claims it had asked In-N-Out several times about the vaccine requirement but the restaurant refused to comply.
Beginning in August, San Francisco mandated that businesses ask for proof of vaccination in order to enter public spaces. The City began easing indoor mask requirements but still requires patrons to wear masks while indoors when not eating or drinking.
In-N-Out stated that it has posted signs regarding local vaccine requirements, but would not prevent entry for customers without proper documentation. In-N-Out views the issue as a discrimination issue and stated that it would not segregate customers and that the mandate for businesses to check for vaccination was intrusive, and that In-N-Out would not serve as government enforcement.
The San Francisco In-N-Out has since reopened for takeout and outdoor dining only. The City states it will permit indoor dining at the restaurant if it will comply with local health ordinances.
In-N-Out restaurants in neighboring counties, including Contra Costa County, have also refused to check for vaccination status. However, In-N-Out was fined $750 for non-compliance rather than be shut down.
Should Businesses Be Compelled to Enforce Vaccine Mandates?
There are a number of reasons businesses might not want to enforce a vaccine mandate. However, some concerns are valid while other concerns are utterly frivolous.
Some businesses contend there are safety issues concerning customers who don’t want to get vaccinated. Since the beginning of the pandemic, some unruly customers have screamed at, assaulted, and in some instances even killed retail and service employees who have attempted to enforce mask or vaccine mandates. It’s’ not worth enforcing a rule if employees end up spit on, in the hospital, or facing a workers’ compensation claim. If California counties want businesses to enforce these mandates, then the governments should take more precautions against such incidents.
In-N-Out contends that vaccination mandates constitute unreasonable discrimination. Discrimination based on vaccination status is entirely different than discrimination based on other traits, such as race or gender. Vaccination is a choice while physical traits like race or gender are innate and not easily changed. As a result, discrimination based on vaccination is legal since the unvaccinated have the ability to change their status at any time.
Moreover, vaccination is about public health, not discrimination. The virus spreads without regard to the person’s politics. A Covid-19 outbreak would not only endanger In-N-Out’s customers, but also In-N-Out’s employees. Checking for vaccination and preventing a Covid outbreak is much easier than allowing the unvaccinated to fill up hospitals and waste ventilators on a disease that is now manageable.
Finally, most vaccine mandates require either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. There is no discrimination against the unvaccinated if they have the option of providing a negative Covid test.
Do I Need an Attorney for Help with Workplace Discrimination?
You should consult with a skilled and knowledgeable discrimination lawyers if you need to file a claim for discrimination. A skilled and knowledgeable employment law attorney can help you determine and assert your rights and represent you in any court proceedings.