Connecticut Employees Required to Wear Masks Beginning This Week

04.19.2020

By Stuart M. Katz

As of 8:00 PM on Monday, April 20th, all employees of operating businesses in Connecticut are required to wear a face mask or similar cloth covering. This rule was issued by the Department of Economic Development (DECD), in accordance with an Executive Order issued by Governor Lamont late in the day on Friday, April 17th.

Governor Lamont’s order (Executive Order No. 7BB) requires anyone in a public place to wear a mask or similar face covering if they are unable to maintain a “safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person.” However, the Order also requires the DECD to update its previously issued Safe Workplace rules. As directed by the Governor, the DECD promptly issued revised mandatory rules that include the following:

  • Essential employees who are able to work from home should be working from home.
  • Each employee at the workplace shall be required to wear a mask or other cloth material that covers their mouth and nose at all times while in the workplace.
  • Employers shall issue such masks or cloth face coverings to their employees. In the event an employer is unable to provide masks or cloth face coverings to employees because of shortages, employers must provide the materials and access to instructions about how to create a cloth face covering, or compensate employees for the reasonable and necessary costs employees expend on such materials to make their own masks or cloth face covering.
  • Access to external visitors should be restricted and limited to essential visitors who should be interviewed about their health condition and recent travel prior to entry, and who should be provided with hand sanitizer or soap and water at the point of entry.
  • Businesses should require all customers and visitors to wear cloth face coverings while on premises and may issue masks or face coverings to customers or other visitors upon or prior to entry.
  • In-person meetings at the workplace should be avoided as much as possible. Teleconferencing can be used by site essential staff, provided they are dialing in from separate areas. Where in-person meetings occur, they should be limited to a maximum of 10 people, all attendees should have a mask covering their faces at all times, and a distance of six feet should be maintained.

The rules do not require the use of a mask or cloth face covering by anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to their health or safety due to a medical condition. People declining to wear a mask for medical reasons are not required to produce medical documentation.

The complete DECD Safe Workplace guidance (which is updated periodically) can be found here.  Other Covid-19 Client Alerts are available on our firm’s website: www.cohenandwolf.com

With additional clarifications and information emerging on a nearly daily basis, it can be difficult to keep track of the many moving pieces that are in play. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

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