Insights

MPL General Counsel Corner – To Mask or Not To Mask, That is the Question

April 26, 2021

As I was doing my weekly reading of Shakespeare….just kidding.  However, I think the famous quote “To Be or Not to Be” can be modified to cover two of the most common questions I get from clients related to workplace safety:

“To Require a Mask or Not to Require a Mask”
“To Require the Vax (sorry, it fits better than the full word) or Not to Require the Vax”

Just as Hamlet was questioning the meaning of life, employers are questioning the importance of policies related to Masks and the Vaccine.  I am not here to make a political statement nor give you the perfect answer.  However, the lists below provide some ways to think through these two contentious topics:

Masks

  • Check the current State requirements/recommendations – In case you want a reference guide, check out the list just published by the team at Littler;
  • Review your current company handbook/employee policy manual and see how that fits with the current mask requirements/recommendations;
  • Consult with your professional advisors (legal, hr, insurance, etc.) on your mask policy;
  • Update or modify your company handbook/employee policy manual as needed; and
  • Implement the updated or modified policy

Vaccines

  • Check your State Vaccine availability to determine which of your employees are even eligible – Thanks again to the Littler team for pulling together a list of State vaccination eligibilities;
  • Review your company handbook/employee policy manual to see if vaccinations are addressed;
  • If you do not have a vaccination strategy, consult with your professional advisors for assistance (legal, hr, insurance, etc.);
  • Update or modify your employee handbook/employee policy to address vaccinations; and
  • Implement the updated or modified policy

Below are some good resources related to Coronavirus Safety in the Workplace

I know that these lists seem like they came right out of the book of Captain Obvious, but sometimes simplicity is the best solution.  At the end of the day, you should make decisions around these issues which are the best fit for your business.

Here are a few other things that may be of interest:

Please see all of our prior updates at this link or if you would like to be added to our email list, please click here.  

As always, please don’t hesitate to email myself (jsanders@mpl-law.com), Andy Miller (amiller@mpl-law.com), Christian Miller (cmiller@mpl-law.com), Erik Spurlin (espurlin@mpl-law.com) or anyone in our office with questions or comments.  

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