Recently, several states adopted requirements for the general public to wear masks outside their homes. Because this includes the workplace, employers in these states are advised to develop a compliant mask policy.
States requiring masks for the general public are
- New Jersey,
- New Mexico,
- New York,
- North Carolina,
- Rhode Island,
- Virginia, and
This list does not include states that only have partial mask restrictions (i.e., some counties within the state have requirements while others do not). Some states only require masks to be worn in public when social distancing cannot be maintained. Additionally, depending on the location of the company, employers may be required to provide employees masks. Due to the inconsistency, we advise employers to review local guidelines for their city and county.
Employers must ensure all mask and other coronavirus-related policies remain fair and equitable for all employees. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and discrimination are vital considerations for coronavirus-related policies, including return-to-work and mask regulations.
The ADA prevents workplace harassment and discrimination, which means employers must maintain unbiased return-to-work and mask practices for all employees. These policies should be clearly stated to employees in writing. For assistance writing policies, contact our HR Consulting division at 913.345.0440 and visit our COVID-19 Resource Library for more information.