COVID-19 Update: "No Mask-No Service" Edition

I know many of you are navigating new employment norms in the age of COVID-19 as many of us return to work.  The workplace re-opening requirements are here (slightly updated after another Executive Order was issued last week). The new workplace safety updates require face masks be worn in all shared spaces and that COVID-19 communication/training be created in the language common to the employee population.

Given the uptick in the spread of the virus, the Governor released a new Executive Order (EO 2020-147) on July 10 making face coverings mandatory inside any public space.  While face coverings in workplaces are already required in shared spaces and in spaces where six feet of distancing cannot be maintained, the penalty for non-complying businesses has been enhanced.

Who has to wear a face covering: Any individual leaving home must wear a face covering over their nose/mouth:

  • In any indoor space;
  • Outdoors if unable to maintain 6-feet of distancing from non-household members;
  • When waiting for or riding public transportation.

Exceptions:

  • Children under 5 (but children 2+ are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering);
  • Individuals who cannot medically tolerate a face covering;
  • Individuals eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment;
  • Individuals exercising when wearing the covering would interfere in the activity;
  • Individuals receiving a service for which temporary removal is necessary;
  • Individuals communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential;
  • Individuals actively engaged in a public safety role;
  • Individuals officiating at a religious service;
  • Individuals giving a speech broadcasting to a live audience.

Additionally, child care centers and camps are not considered public spaces.

The Order notes that a mask can be removed while engaged in religious worship (but strongly encourages face coverings during such services).

Customers/Businesses Open to Public:
  • All customers must wear masks if entering businesses open to the public.
  • Customers are not permitted entry or services unless wearing a mask.
  • If open to the public, businesses must post signs at the entrance with the legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside.  The Michigan Department of Labor may develop and require signs conforming to these requirements.
Penalties:
  • If a State department or agency learns that a business with a license is in violation of this requirement, temporary suspension of the license could occur (including a liquor license).
  • A willful violation is a misdemeanor (up to a $500 fine).
Effective Date:
  • Immediate effect for individuals.
  • July 13 for businesses.

As always, this update does not constitute legal advice.