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Young woman wearing face mask in the street.

Face Coverings – The Subject Of New Lawsuits Across the United States

DISCLOSURE

Take into account that San Diego County is not subject to out-of-state laws and court decisions. This following article deals with face masks in Dallas, Texas. Nevertheless, this is shared for the purpose of posting what new disputes are arising in connection to COVID-19 matters, namely face mask wearing policies. If such lawsuits develop in California, it can be expected for judges to use these out-of-state issues for guidance.  It is also posted to help employers understand what liabilities can result from face covering policies and procedures within business operations.

JANE DOE v. HILLSTONE RESTAURANT GROUP

In the State of Texas, the state has not mandated face-coverings for restaurant workers. Some cities within the state have enacted face-covering mandates. Hillstone Restaurant Group employs Jane Doe. Jane Doe wished to work while wearing a face mask. However, her employer disapproved of such measure and in response did not schedule her for work. That became company policy. Jane Doe filed a petition to dispute the company’s policy forbidding wearing masks while at work. A Texas judge issued an order requiring Hillstone to allow employees to wear masks. Such an order was in effect for 14 days. This 14-day order served as a temporary restraining order allowing Jane Doe to work while she seeks out a more permanent solution, or more permanent legal claim as needed if the employer elects to refer back to its policy.

Seeing what is occurring on the legal front across the nation, employers in San Diego County are recommended to avoid legal claims by not refusing an employee to wear a face covering while at work. Seek out local orders (city, county, and state) to see the latest requirements and mandates for businesses actively open to the public.

CDC RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING FACE COVERINGS

It is also recommended to seek out CDC guidance concerning the subject matter.  As of the date of this publication, the CDC currently states on their website:

  • “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”
  • “The CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.”
  • Link

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