Q: Is it legal for an employer to tell other employees they don't have to wear masks but I have to or be threatened
A: In California, employees are considered to be employed at will unless you have an agreement to the contrary about that status with the employer. The employer of an at will employee can change the terms and conditions of employment for any employee at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all. Additionally, the employer can discipline and even terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all. So, the response to your question is yes, in most circumstances the employer can make you wear a mask even if the other employees are not required to do so.
That said, if you can establish that the reason for the difference in treatment is your membership in a protected class of people or because you engaged in some form of legally protected conduct, then you might have a technical legal claim. However, being required to wear a mask will likely not give you sufficient damages to support a lawsuit. If you think you can prove unlawful discrimination and you want to consider a lawsuit, you should locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
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