The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued an emergency rule that generally requires employees to wear masks indoors, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. The emergency rule took effect August 30, 2021.
Under the emergency rule, employers must require employees to wear a face covering whenever they are indoors and unable to maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing, unless the individual is medically unable to tolerate wearing a mask. The requirement applies regardless of the individual’s vaccination status. The requirement generally also applies to customers and other individuals on the premises.
The emergency rule requires that employers take reasonable efforts to enforce the mask mandate. The emergency rule doesn’t define what are considered reasonable efforts for enforcement with employees but does give examples of reasonable efforts that retail businesses can take to enforce the mask mandate with customers, such as:
· Posting signs.
· Providing face coverings.
· Giving verbal and/or written warnings to those who aren’t wearing masks.
· Asking individuals to leave the premises if they refuse to wear a mask.
· Providing reasonable accommodations to individuals who are unable to tolerate wearing a mask because of a medical condition.
Illinois employers should read the emergency rule in full and ensure compliance with it. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.