On Wednesday, July 22, 2020 Governor Walz issued an executive order requiring Minnesotans to wear face coverings in all indoor businesses and indoor public settings. For many businesses, the new requirements are confusing. This article attempts to simplify some of the more significant requirements for businesses under the Executive Order. For more information about the Order generally, see our previous article here.
Under the Executive Order, all businesses are required to have their workers, customers, and visitors wear face coverings while indoors in common areas, and in certain outdoor locations. Businesses may not require customers to provide proof of a medical condition or disability preventing them from wearing a face covering; but the business must, when possible, make accommodations for workers and customers who say they have such condition that prevents face covering use. Businesses cannot use face covering requirements as a pretext to discriminate or otherwise violate any other state, federal, or local law. Schools, daycares, and childcare facilities should note that the order contains guidance very specific to their environments that is different than the guidance applicable to other types of businesses.
Businesses that do not comply with the Order could be fined up to $25,000 and an owner, manager, or supervisor may be filed up to $1000 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days.
Although the Executive Order contains a lot of mandates and material, the basic requirements for business can be generally summarized as follows:
- Workers Wear Face Coverings: their workers are wearing face coverings as required by this Executive Order;
- Have a Preparedness Plan: the business has updated their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to address the face covering requirements of this Executive Order;
- Signage for Face Coverings: the business has posted one or more signs that are visible to all persons—including workers, customers, and visitors—instructing them to wear face coverings as required by this Executive Order; and
- Reasonable Efforts to Enforce: the business makes reasonable efforts to enforce this order with respect to customers and visitors.
- Follow Industry Specific and Local Requirements: the business must also follow any industry specific requirements for face covering and other safety measures. The business must also follow any local requirements that may be stricter than the Minnesota Order.
Virtus Law, PLLC continues to monitor developments in this (and other COVID-19 areas) and will continue to post relevant updates to this website.