As we have previously reported, several states, including New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, now require employees, customers and/or the public to wear face coverings. As we have also written about, in other states, like California, local governments are leading the way. For example, Bay Area counties Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa all require face coverings to some degree. Since then, additional California municipalities have also joined, including San Bernardino, Riverside, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Carson, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Pasadena. Links to our prior publications on these location-specific mandates can be found below.
Other states and municipalities continue to follow suit. As of April 17, employees of essential businesses in Hawaii must wear face coverings. On April 18, Maryland established a similar requirement for employees, as well as customers over nine years of age. Like California, in states that are not currently requiring face coverings, some local governments have taken the initiative to establish their own requirements. For example, in Illinois, Cicero, Glenview, Highland Park, Morton Grove, Niles, Skokie and Wilmette have each implemented some type of face covering requirement. Municipalities in other states that have joined the movement include Laredo, Texas; Miami, Florida; Northampton, Massachusetts; and Chickasaw, Oklahoma.
The above locations are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all states and municipalities that have such requirements. Indeed, it is likely that additional governments have joined the list even as you are reading this blog. Further, many other localities have issued “recommendations” that employees and/or customers wear face coverings or other protective equipment.
Given this growing tide of the mandatory face covering movement, employers should be aware of such requirements in all locations in which they operate. Employers should also keep in mind that OSHA (and state-level equivalent) guidelines require employers to provide safe workplaces and consider issuing and/or requiring face coverings in all jurisdictions, even if not compulsory.