Facemasks in the Workplace

Facemasks. This should not be controversial, but in light of actions that have been reported in the news by certain unnamed Middle Tennessee employers, here goes. The science is uncontroverted. If you want to wear a facemask in your workplace to protect yourself and your family, you have every right to do so. An employer who forces you to NOT wear a facemask is not only terrible and they clearly don't care about your health and welfare or that of other humans, but they could be violating the law. Here's how: 1) under the ADA employees can be given reasonable accommodations for a disability, if they or their family member (associational disability) has a health condition that requires they take precautionary measures to prevent exposure to COVID, then it is a perfectly reasonable accommodation to wear your facemask all day while at work, in many instances, tele-working is also a reasonable accommodation. 2) During the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA generally recommends that employers encourage workers to wear cloth face coverings at work to help reduce the spread of COVID-19- so if your employer is obnoxious enough to require you to NOT wear a facemask, then there may be an OSHA violation, be sure to lodge a complaint with your employer, and then call an attorney, and start looking for a boss that cares about the health of other humans and not just their pocketbook and clearly sizeable ego. 3) While there is no right to "free speech" in most private sector workplaces, employees do have a right to protest unfair labor practices, and if an employer retaliates against you for such a protest, they likely have violated the NLRA and a complaint needs to be filed with the DOL.

Be safe, wear your mask and/or distance, and take care of your fellow humans! 😷