Taco Bell has been doing some serious backtracking as news hit that an employee in Ohio was fired for wearing a Black Lives Matter face mask at work.
According to Business Insider, on June 8, Youngstown, Ohio-native Denzel Skinner posted on Facebook, a video of him explaining that he had been terminated based on a BLM mask he was wearing a work, which does not go against company policy.
Skinner, who had been a shift manager at the fast-food store for eight years, was wearing a different mask that was hard to breathe in given that the air conditioner was broken. He then switched masks, to rock his BLM one—that’s when his manager had a problem. He asked to remove it, he refused and was told that if he walked out, he would lose his job.
“You can’t bring politics into the building,” a female voice says off-camera.
Skinner’s response? “Bro, I’m not bringing politics in. This is what I’m standing for. How is this considered politics?
Watch the video here:
Now, given that the video came out on the 8th, it wasn’t until Thursday, did the video find its way to Twitter and it went viral.
Taco Bell told BI that they were “disappointed to learn about the incident
and are working with the franchisee to resolve this issue. “We believe Black Lives Matter…Our Chief People Officer and Yum!’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer spoke with Denzel last week to apologize and discuss the situation,” a Taco Bell representative said in a statement.
“Our goal is to ensure our policies are inclusive and keep our team members and customers safe.”
“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.”
Now, it’s unclear if that clarification will mean a banning or not, so we will definitely be paying attention to see for sure.
Now, as we know the Tex-Mex chain isn’t the first company to come under fire for this type of issue. Just last week, after Buzzfeed broke the news that Starbucks sent a memo to its employees last week spelling out that they couldn’t wear anything at work in support of Black Lives Matter, the popular coffee chain reversed its decision.