Centereach, NY asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York

Q: Can my employer require me to wear a mask at work due to COVID I’m a veteran w/ ptsd and phobias about covering my mouth

I’ve been working there for 14 years and they suddenly are requiring us to wear a mask. I spoke to our EO who said they can’t make me but my boss is saying it’s manditory and if we don’t we have to use our time and take off from work. It’s a civil service position. Adding that only 2 of us in the entire office are required to wear the mask. Everyone else is not required to wear a mask.

1 Lawyer Answer
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: I think you have to examine the purpose for the requirement. It's to keep others, not you necessarily, safe.

Public safety almost always trumps (no pun intended) personal safety.

I guess wearing a hazmat suit might be another option but would not that be even worse? What other accommodation could they possibly make for you unless you can work from home? You and your doctor (if you can find one not fighting this frightening battle) would need to suggest other possible accommodations if they exist?

Medication to enable you to wear some type of protective gear???? Although neither of these medical alternatives should be addressed by a person who is not a licensed physician.

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