On Friday July 10, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave businesses that are open to the public a new mandate to enforce mask-wearing in Executive Order 2020-147.
While mask wearing in indoor public places was already required under numerous other executive orders issued by the Governor, this one is different because it puts the onus on the business to post a sign at entrance notifying customers of the requirement, deny entry to customers not wearing a mask, and deny service to non-mask-wearing individuals. The order also requires individuals to wear a mask when outdoors and not able to socially distance six feet or more, and when riding on public transportation or in taxis or ride shares.
There are number of exclusions to the order, including for children younger than five years old; individuals eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment; for daycare and day camps; religious worship in a house of worship; and those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering.
The new order provides that willful failure to comply comes with a new penalty: a misdemeanor violation, or suspension of the business’s license to operate. While the order is not clear as to who could face a potential misdemeanor charge—the employees who fail to enforce the order, the individual who refuses to wear a mask, or both—the most likely to face criminal liability will be employees. (The business itself will usually be organized as a legal entity, and thus not subject to criminal penalty.) However, the business itself could be subject to temporarily losing its license to operate, which could result in further economic hardship.
So what is a public-facing business to do?
At a time when businesses are coping with so much uncertainty, having to enforce this order seems burdensome. But from a practical standpoint, this order will be difficult to enforce, and primarily serves as a deterrent for the individuals who are reluctant to follow the state guidelines already in place.
The order was effective immediately for individuals, and takes effect Monday, July 13 for businesses.
The business and employment attorneys of Dalton & Tomich take your business just as seriously as you do. Attorneys Zana Tomich and Noel Sterett are trusted by closely held family businesses and others across Michigan and Northern Illinois as invaluable partners and counselors. We guarantee all your calls and emails will be returned within one business day so you can focus on what you do best: running your business.
Having worked with Zana for 10 years, I can attest to her professionalism, her pragmatism, and most importantly, her integrity. I always get sound, thoughtful advice and guidance. From routine filings & updates to the highly unexpected, Zana’s there to help, always responding quickly and […]Read More
We highly recommend Dalton & Tomich! As a start-up firm that has rapidly grown across the country in under 5 years, Dalton & Tomich has been integral to our sound, credible, and excellent in standard infrastructure. As we’ve scaled, Zana has been right by our […]Read More
As a professional photographer in the wedding industry, reliable communication is very important to me. Noel was very knowledgeable and quick to respond to all of my questions and not just that, he also gave me suggestions when reviewing and updating my contract. The entire […]Read More
Zana’s expert guidance has helped us to move forward with clarity and confidence in our business endeavors. She helped us create a new business entity, and a few years later to navigate a tricky buyout—all with a clear path forward for business growth. Her calm […]Read More
Noel’s guidance was much appreciated when redrafting my client contract. He was very professional, respectful of my time and potential costs, and was sincere with his advice. I trusted that he had the highest good for my business in mind. I will seek out his […]Read More
Zana’s expertise in employee law has helped us refine and build a stronger operations and hiring strategy at my company. As a business owner of a small and fast growing company, I very much appreciate Zana’s ability to always step into any situation quickly and […]Read More