What Small Businesses Should Consider in Light of the New CDC Mask Guidance

May 14, 2021

It seems almost unbelievable, but I think I finally see the glowing EXIT sign here at the COVID carnival. Not sure if I am still reeling from that last ride on the tilt-a-whirl or from the CDC announcing that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks in public, indoors or out. While I wasn’t expecting that so soon, I have to say I am happy I will get to see your faces again! But before we plan that barbecue to share pictures from our carnival “vacation,” we as small business owners still need to consider what this means for us, our businesses, and our employees.

First off, know that you can still make and enforce mask rules for your business if you are more comfortable with that. I wrote about that recently, so check out this Friday Flashback for more information. 

If you are considering lifting the requirement, step one is to check with your local municipality to make sure that they don’t have anything in place. For example, Milwaukee plans to keep their mandate until June 15. And as I type this, The Village of Whitefish Bay, where I live, has not made any announcements of ending their current mask mandate earlier than the June 30, 2021 expiration date. 

One thing to consider is the potential liability if you do lift masking requirements. COVID liability lawsuits are still pending across the country, and I have no predictions as to whether courts will hold businesses accountable for customers or employees who contract it on the job. 

With that in mind, it would also be a good idea discussing your policy with your employees. Unvaccinated employees might be uncomfortable working closely with unmasked individuals who can still spread the virus even if vaccinated. You might need to consider what, if any, accommodations you can make for those employees. Here is some guidance if you want to encourage employees to get the vaccine.

If you would like to discuss any of this or need help drafting policies for your workplace, please feel free to reach out. I would love to hear from you! And hopefully see your face again soon!

1. The information above does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult your attorney with specific questions.
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Copyright © *2022* *Law Offices of Lindsey King*, All rights reserved.*

Copyright © *2022* *Law Offices of Lindsey King*, All rights reserved.*

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