Please note: The information below is based on what we know today, and that rules and regulations are literally changing daily. Employers need to be nimble and flexible – check your local rules on a daily basis.
As more and more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine, employees are starting to ask questions about mask requirements. Mask requirements currently vary widely (and are changing frequently) depending on the state in which the employee works:
All Californians are still required to wear masks whenever they are in public except when they are:
- alone in their car or only with those within their households;
- working alone in a private office or room;
- outdoors and staying six feet away from others not in their households;
- eating or drinking, as long as they are distanced from others;
- undergoing a service that involves nose or face, such as a dental procedure;
- working and are required to wear respiratory protection; or
- specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other guidance.
Children younger than two years old are exempt, along with people with a disability, medical condition or mental health condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering, people who are hearing impaired or are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, and people for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines. There are currently no exemptions for individuals who are fully vaccinated.
California’s current guidelines regarding masks and face coverings are available here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx.
Idaho never had a statewide mask mandate. Rather, mask requirements were defined by local health districts and municipalities. Boise currently still requires mask usage in “public places,” which means any place open to all members of the public without specific invitation, including retail businesses; government offices; medical, educational, arts, and recreational institutions; public transportation, including ridesharing vehicles; and outdoor public areas. Several other Idaho cities have similar requirements.
The Idaho legislature has made several efforts to initiate legislation banning mask mandates. None have yet become law although that remains a possibility in the remaining days of this year’s session as there have been efforts on several fronts to place restrictions on the pandemic response. Nothing in the proposed legislation would specifically bar an employer from requiring employees to wear a mask. Continue Reading