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More States and Municipalities Impose Mandatory Face Covering and Other Workplace Protections

After an initial wave that saw a focus on closing or limiting “non-essential” or “non-life sustaining” businesses and limiting individual travel, states and municipalities have shifted their attention to protections for those who are continuing to work and travel as they perform essential personal and professional functions. The primary, but not only, area of such focus is on mandating the use of cloth or fabric masks. This change has come as more has become known about how the highly infectious coronavirus spreads, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommending that cloth face coverings be worn “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” such as grocery stores and pharmacies, “especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

These new orders vary in their scope and strictness. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, for example, has issued an order requiring masks to be worn by employees of businesses authorized to maintain in-person operations and further requiring employers to provide such masks. The Pennsylvania order also requires most shoppers to wear masks before entering most stores.

Cities and municipalities have also issued mask orders, and those orders are often the most stringent. For example, Miami, Florida has mandated face coverings for anyone entering restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies or other retail stores. Similarly, Laredo, Texas has issued an order requiring anyone over the age of five to wear “some form of covering over their nose and mouth” while in taxis, public transportation or inside a public building. Penalties for violating the mask orders vary as well, with some states and municipalities imposing fines of up to $1,000.

© 2020 Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 115

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About this Author

Grayson F. Harbour Labor & Employment Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath Indianapolis, IN
Associate

Grayson Harbour assists companies as they navigate matters related to labor and employment. He is particularly interested in the intersection of technology, privacy and law as applied to the modern workforce. 

Past Experience

Grayson has a host of experience in cybersecurity, including conducting cybersecurity compliance assessments, researching cybersecurity policy issues and managing engagements-focused preventative measures using HIPAA, NIST 800-53, NIST 800-171, and other security frameworks. As a legal intern with Rolls-Royce North America, Grayson made recommendations...

317-237-1145
David Woolf, Drinker Biddle Law Firm, Philadelphia, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney
Partner

David J. Woolf assists clients in a range of labor and employment-related matters, including employment litigation, non-competition and other restrictive covenant-related issues and union/management relations. David also actively works with our Corporate and Securities group on labor and employment deal diligence, providing guidance on the labor and employment aspects of actual and potential transactions.

David defends employers in employment-related litigation, including individual and class claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful discharge, in state and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state and local agencies. He is also available as day-to-day issues inevitably arise, and regularly counsels employers on layoffs, disability and family/medical leave issues, plant closing procedures, wage and hour issues, and a host of other matters. David also conducts and assists clients with internal investigations of sexual and other types of harassment and related training.

 

(215) 988-2614
Jill A. Zender Employment Attorney Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath Denver, CO
Counsel

An employment lawyer, Jill Zender counsels employers on legal and regulatory compliance and defends them in state and federal agency claims, as well as in litigation. With nearly three decades of practice and personal experience as a small business owner, Jill understands the needs and challenges of employers in today’s web of federal, state and local requirements.

Employment Lawyer

Jill advises clients on a wide array of employment law issues, conducts training and workplace investigations, and prepares various types of employment documents, including:...

303-607-3739