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Syracuse.com Quotes Professor Doron Dorfman: Store Mask Policies Must Not Discriminate

Posted on Friday 5/22/2020
Doron Dorfman

Can store owners require you to wear a face mask to enter?

(syracuse.com | May 22, 2020) You might have seen the videos on social media: Shoppers who refuse to wear face masks confront the store manager, who patiently explains it’s store policy that all customers wear them.

But can store owners legally enforce that policy?

Yes, say legal and retail experts, as long as they don’t discriminate against anyone who can’t wear a mask because they’re disabled or against certain groups, called “protected classes" ...

... Dorfman said 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 ADA, 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?”

Asking those questions will help a store manager defend his or her actions if a person with a disability brings a suit for discrimination, Dorfman said ...

Read the full article.