A restaurant worker wearing a mask (file photo).

A restaurant worker wearing a mask (file photo).

reklamlar/Getty Images

  • Employees at Hillstone Restaurant Group establishments in Dallas, Texas, said that as locations reopened to 25% capacity this week, they were told to take off their masks, or leave. 

  • Hillstone restaurants in Texas reopened after the state relaxed its stay-at-home orders put in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • One employee told CBS Dallas that she was taken off a restaurant’s schedule after raising concerns about the mask ban. 

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Employees for a Texas restaurant group said managers told them they aren’t permitted to wear masks at work as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Staff from Hillstone Restaurant Group establishments in Dallas, Texas, told CBS Dallas that they were told to take off their masks, or leave.

Hillstone has locations across the US, and the brand is known for its unpretentious atmosphere in a refined space. Locations in Texas reopened on Friday at 25% capacity as stay-at-home orders were relaxed. According to Dallas Morning Star News, the company operates under four different restaurant brand names in Dallas.

Employees at the Dallas locations said management told them that face masks don’t fit the restaurant’s hospitality mold.

One employee who voiced concern over the policy told CBS Dallas that she was removed from the schedule. Another told CBS Dallas that they were told they wouldn’t be rehired if they wanted to wear a mask while working.

One employee told People Newspapers that it was “disappointing that an organization that employs so many people and that serves even more people in the Dallas community would disregard the recommendations of health officials and government.”

Dr. Diana Cervantes, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, criticized Hillstone’s decision.

“It is really important to be able to wear those face coverings, especially if you can’t keep that six foot social distancing,” she said in a statement to CBS Dallas. “Of course when you go to a restaurant, that [is] very hard to maintain.”

In a statement online, Hillstone cites state orders as a justification to not wear masks.

“Current orders do not require our staff or guests to wear face masks. If you are concerned about your safety in this respect, we hope you will join us at a later date,” the company’s website says.

The website says restaurants would only seat parties of two for the time being.

“While you can be assured we are diligent in our practices with respect to health, sanitization and other requirements, the best way to ensure your own safety and others’ is for our guests to follow best practices, including washing hands and maintaining appropriate distance where possible,” it says.

When Insider tried calling the hospitality group’s Dallas Hillstone location, staff said they’re not taking calls from reporters. Insider left a message with Hillstone’s corporate office, but its voicemail said offices were closed.

Read the original article on Insider

By hanshuk

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