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Court Orders Hillstone To Allow R+D Kitchen Worker To Wear A Mask

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A woman who works at Dallas' R+D Kitchen will be allowed to wear a face covering at work, following a ruling by a Dallas County district court.

California-based Hillstone, which operates R+D Kitchen and more than 40 other restaurants in 12 states, had forbidden the employee, who goes by "Jane Doe" in court filings, from wearing a face covering on the job and refused to provide her any hours to work unless she agreed to work without one.

Some Dallas Restaurant Workers Say They Were Given Ultimatum: Don't Wear Face Masks Or Don't Come To Work

"My client wants nothing more than to protect those around her – and Hillstone's own customers – from the possibility of contracting COVID-19. And she wants to follow the law," said her attorney Charla Aldous, founding partner of Aldous\Walker in Dallas.

Word quickly spread via social media that the restaurant company was disregarding recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and an April 23 order – backed up by another this month – from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins requiring workers at businesses that re-open to wear face coverings.

But Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker granted Ms. Doe's application for a temporary restraining order mandating that Hillstone require or at least permit Ms. Doe to wear a face covering at work, and that the restaurant not retaliate against her.

Her lawyers argue Hillstone has in effect fired Jane Doe by refusing to give her any hourly work until or unless she follows the company's no face-covering policy.

"Hillstone as a company is violating the law and endangering its workers and the public with its misguided policy," said Brent Walker, who also represents Jane Doe. "The question now is, will Hillstone follow the law and require the rest of its employees to use face coverings? If they are not going to follow the law, will they at least do the reasonable thing and allow employees who want to wear face coverings consistent with CDC recommendations to do so? If not, we'll be ready to go to court on their behalf as well."

The temporary restraining order will remain in place for 14 days, according to her attorneys.

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