Labor Attorney Offers Guidance On Employer Rights In Mask Enforcement

Sep 3, 2020

Similar to the phrase “No shirt, no service” -- businesses are also protected to enforce the state’s face mask requirement. That was one of the takeaways of a webinar on Wed. hosted by the Asheville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.   

The program focused on the handling of customers who refuse to wear face coverings. One argument voiced by noncompliant customers  is that it’s a “constitutional right to refuse to wear a mask.”   Atlanta labor Attorney Andria Lure Ryan says that's not the case. 

"People don't have constitutional rights in your private business.  People have constitutional rights with regards to government interference.  You're not the government," Ryan said. "So the state, the federal, the local government can't interfere with someone's rights - if they even have them with regards to masks, but as a private employer, you can interfere with their political rights."

Ryan went onto offer tips on how to respond to customers who won't comply - with a dialogue that honors diverse opinions about face coverings while stressing the importance of keeping employees and customers safe. 

The recorded webinar is available here.