Masks or Cloth Face Coverings Required in Workplace

| Apr 20, 2020 | Labor and Employment |

As a result of the Governor’s latest Executive Order 7BB, employers must now provide masks or cloth face coverings to employees who must wear face masks at all times in the workplace.  Executive Order 7BB, effective Monday, April 20th at 8 p.m., requires all individuals in any public place where it is not possible to maintain a safe social distance of at least six feet to wear a face covering.  As required by this latest Executive Order, Friday, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) updated its guidance (https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-Business-Recovery/Safe-Workplace-Rules-for-Essential-Employers) with additional requirements detailing the use and provision of face coverings in the workplace.  Significantly, the rules require masks for all employees and customers effective April 20, 2020.

The DECD Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers now provide that, with regard to masks or cloth face coverings:

  • Each employee shall be required to wear a mask or other cloth material that covers their mouth and nose at all times while in the workplace
  • Anyone for whom complying with the face mask requirement would be contrary to his or her health or safety because of a medical condition is exempt from the rule and does not have to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition

Where an employer is unable to provide the required face masks for its employees, the DECD guidance states that “employers must provide the materials and CDC tutorial about how to create a cloth face covering, or compensate employees for the reasonable and necessary costs employees expend on such materials to make their own masks or cloth face covering.”

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