Q: Is it really legal to not allow an employee to work if they medically can not wear a face mask.
The order states that those who are medically able to wear them must. But what about those who can't. Can they really tell us we can't work? Are stores really able to deny us access because we can not wear the mask because of a disability?
This is a difficult topic that does not have a clear "yes" or "no" answer. Overall, you should be allowed to make decisions for your own well being but in an employment setting, the employee doesn't have full control.
The logic behind the mask requirement is that you can spread flu/COVID-19 before you have symptoms of it, and wearing a mask would contain the spread. Some think COVID-19 is a fake crisis that has been overblown and others are taking it seriously and scared to interact in public.
Companies are getting sued for wrongful death and negligence when they don't provide their public-facing employees masks and other protective gear, and also when they don't protect their employees from others including the public, co-workers and even candidates for new hire.
If you don't want to wear a mask and you have a medical reason for it, you would need to provide the employer medical documents to substantiate the medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask. You would have to ask for a medical accommodation.
If you don't want to wear a mask and you have a religious reason for it, you would need to communicate your beliefs and ask for a religious accommodation.
The laws that like apply: ADA/EEOC, OSHA
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.