Preparing for the Possible End of the Mask Mandate as a Small Business Owner

February 11, 2021

Let’s pretend for a minute that it is 70 degrees, sunny, and Coronavirus is a hazy memory. Sounds glorious, right? Well, unfortunately, it is none of those things today, and we are all trapped inside with a governor and a legislature that are at each other’s throats like a pair of kids trying to agree on a television show. Like a good parent, I am not going to choose sides in this battle, but I know it is going to keep going. 

On friday the Wisconsin legislature voted to end Governor Evers mask mandate. Governor Evers almost immediately issued a new mandate. This back and forth could go on well past bedtime, so let’s assume the legislature gets their way and take a look at what it would look like for your business if the mandate is struck down (hopefully without anyone getting hurt or someone is getting a time out!). 

First, you will need to check with your local municipality and see what they have in place. If there is a local mandate, you will need to follow that. With this vote in place, many cities are considering their own mandates, so watch for changes, too, if your municipality doesn’t already have something in place.

Second, you, as a business owner, can still require masks regardless of whether your municipality requires them. If you are planning to continue requiring them, it is recommended that you post clear signage at entryways. If you are a business that takes appointments or reservations, remind people when you confirm those with them. Also be sure you communicate your policy to your employees. 

As you are making the decision that is best for your business, you may want to keep in mind that hundreds of lawsuits have been filed across the country for COVID negligence. The outcomes of those cases are still unknown, and we are in uncharted territory here. However, given the sheer volume of these filings, the potential for liability based upon a claim that a business didn’t take efforts to mitigate the spread exists..

Finally, keep an eye out for changes as lately they seem to be happening fast. Just because your municipality doesn’t have anything in place right now doesn’t mean they won’t issue something if the statewide mandate goes away. I promise to keep any eye out and will update you as soon as anything changes, so be sure to follow me on Instagram or like my Facebook page for updates.

If I can help you navigate any of this, please reach out!

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS:
1. The information above does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult your attorney with specific questions.
2. As this situation is constantly changing, we will make every effort to stay current on this topic, however this information is provided as general guidance and may not apply to your situation, nor should it be relied upon exclusively. Please consult and confirm with your attorney if you have questions about these updates or their applicability.  
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