IL Small Businesses Now Liable if Customers Don't Wear Masks

Date: August 11, 2020

The Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has upheld the Department of Public Health’s new rule imposing fines on businesses if their customers don’t follow public health guidelines and wear a mask.

Click here to read the Illinois Department of Public Health’s fact sheet on Emergency Rules to Enforce the Use of Face Coverings.

NFIB urged the committee to reject the rule. “This isn’t a question of whether masks help reduce the spread of the coronavirus,” NFIB State Director Mark Grant said. “It’s a question of whether employers, especially small businesses, have the resources to confront customers who politely decline or aggressively refuse to obey the rules and wear a face covering.

“We’ve all seen the videos of people who become verbally and physically abusive when asked to wear a mask or leave the premises. It’s wrong to assume that cashiers, sales associates, and store managers have the training to defuse these situations and persuade people to either mask up or get out.”

It would make more sense, he said, if “our elected officials to focus any enforcement action on the people who break the rules rather than the businesses they choose to enter.”

Click here to read the IDPH’s FAQ on the emergency order concerning face coverings.

We urge businesses to visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website, which has business toolkits with signage, posters, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest public health recommendations.


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