A Taco Bell employee lost his employment because of his support for Black Lives Matter and he posted the whole ordeal on social media.
According to NewsNow, Denzel Skinner was a shift leader at a Taco Bell restaurant in Ohio for eight years when a manager decided to fire him on Monday for refusing to take off his Black Lives Matter face cover at work.
Skinner said he sported the mask because the surgical masks given out to employees weren’t adequate for the warm weather. He explained that the restaurant’s air condition recently broke, causing it to be very hot inside, and the surgical mask makes it challenging to breathe when it’s warm. Thus, he swapped out the surgical masks for his Black Lives Matter face mask because it’s easier to breathe through.
Skinner said this is when his manager instructed him to take off the mask, but Skinner refused and walked out of the restaurant. He said he was told that if he walked out, his job would be terminated.
Skinner posted a video to Facebook, which he says he recorded nearly 10 minutes after he was fired. At one point in the video, Skinner even talks to someone who is supposedly his manger.
“You can’t bring politics into the building,” the person can be heard telling Skinner.
Skinner thought it was important to speak up, considering the recent deaths of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police. This is why he decided to wear the mask, which he said someone made for him.
Skinner said Taco Bell’s policy explains that employees must wear a face cover while working, however, their rules do not address whether employees could wear masks with messages on them.
“All it stated was [the mask] had to be clean,” Skinner said.
Skinner went on to say that he doesn’t plan on requesting his job back, neither will he return if asked. He said as a team leader, he always clocked in under 30 hours a week and was never eligible for paid vacation. He said he intends to spend more time with his family while he decides what to do next.
Taco released a statement on Wednesday, saying:
“We are disappointed to learn what took place in Youngstown. We are working with our franchisee that operates this location to understand what happened. We are committed to fighting racial injustice and hosting open forums to give restaurant teams an opportunity to discuss racism in America. Our priority is to be an inclusive brand while keeping team members and customers safe.”
The statement also went on to say that because supply on the masks are low, employees are allowed to bring their own mask or face cover to work. However, they ended with, “As this is a fluid situation, we’re in the process of considering the need to revise mask and uniform requirements to address recent concerns.”
Recently, Starbucks has found itself receiving similar backlash when they banned Black Lives Matter gear due to its company policy, despite allowing other clothing items with a message such as LGBTQ pride.
Not too long after receiving major backlash, including renewed calls to boycott Starbucks, the coffee restaurant chain decided to reverse their original rule and now employees can wear Black Lives Matter gear. The company even went as far as to create their own “Black Lives Matter” company t-shirt.
How quickly the tides change.