×    By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Professor Doron Dorfman's Research Cited by Poynter Institute

Posted on Monday 6/22/2020
Doron Dorfman

Can the government legally force you to wear a mask?

(Poynter Institute | June 22, 2020) If we want to reopen schools, we must change the trends now

With schools from elementary to universities trying to find a way to open their doors in six to eight weeks, America has to find a way to reverse the coronavirus trend that just grew worse in almost half the country.

This weekend, the COVID-19 pandemic spread at or near record levels in 22 states. In some states, the new cases set records. In others, the new cases were the highest measured since the first of May.

Can the government legally force you to wear a mask?

The answer is “yes.” In a pandemic, governments have the authority to do a lot of things that would otherwise be questionable.

Think of it like this: The government has the right to ban smoking in public places because your smoking can affect my health. And some places have signs that say, “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Just add “no mask” to the sign ...

... Doron Dorfmann, a Syracuse University law professor who specializes in disability law, told Syracuse.com:

There may be legitimate disabilities that would prevent someone from wearing a mask: someone with autism who has sensory issues, for example, or someone with a respiratory problem for which a mask would make breathing difficult.

Under the (federal Americans with Disabilities Act), he said, store managers must be cautious in questioning anyone who says they have a disability. The manager, for example, can’t ask what the disability is.

Shop keepers can ask two questions of that person, Dorfman said: “Is (not wearing a mask) an accommodation? What kind of benefit do you get from not wearing a mask?”

Read the full article.