Attorney General Issues Face Covering Enforcement Guidance
Maine’s Attorney General issued a press release with guidance for businesses regarding enforcement of the face covering requirements. Below are excerpts from the press release as well as a link to the 3-page guidance document.
From the press release:
Today, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued guidance to businesses and other organizations which interact with the public detailing these enforcement options. The guidance clearly states that the Governors Executive Orders have the force of law and spells out face covering requirements for individuals and establishments, including which establishments must enforce wearing of face coverings, and the potential consequences for noncompliance.
The joint OAG-DHHS guidance explains the Executive Order on face coverings and the requirements and expectations it places on individuals and establishments. These include:
- The definition of public settings as places like stores, restaurants, and government buildings
- Clarification that all businesses may, and some businesses must enforce face covering usage, and further clarification on which businesses are legally required to do so
- Recommendations for businesses and other establishments to work with law enforcement in order to protect frontline workers who encounter individuals refusing to comply
- A reminder that individuals can be charged criminally for not wearing a face covering in a public setting after being warned by a law enforcement officer to do so
The full guidance, which is attached, also includes information on reasonable accommodations which can be made for people with disabilities, and notes that beyond these accommodations, during a public health emergency disability laws do not require a business to admit a customer not wearing a face covering.
The guidance document can be found here. Hopefully this information will be useful to all businesses trying to navigate the sometimes confusing and challenging enforcement of the face covering requirements.