When Businesses Get Caught Between Mask Mandates and the ADA

If you’re a business owner, sometimes you just can’t win. During pandemic times, you can’t safely re-open unless you abide by the CDC’s often-changing social distancing and mask guidelines BUT some of your customers might not be able to wear a mask and are protected by the American Disabilities Act.

One such business, a private store with plenty of informative signage outside recently encountered two plaintiffs who didn’t want to wear their masks, claimed they had medical conditions and the CDC-approved store policy was now discriminating against them.

As these things do, this one ended up as a lawsuit against the store and Dean Sperling Law was called in to represent the store and resolve the tricky situation. Dean said, “On one hand, the store wants to treat everyone the same and certainly wants to remain open. But some people just don’t want to hear it even though allowing mask-free customers inside could open up the store to even more potential liability from the other direction.”

According to the National Disability Institute “If a person with a disability is not able to wear a face mask, state and local government agencies and private businesses must consider reasonable modifications to a face mask policy so that the person with the disability can participate in, or benefit from, the programs offered or goods and services that are provided. A reasonable modification means changing policies, practices, and procedures, if needed, to provide goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to an individual with a disability.”

Well, no matter what, the business owner is set up to lose here and considering the year most businesses had in 2020, that is probably unfair to them. But legal disputes like this one are EVERYWHERE. When they negatively impact YOU and YOUR business, including landlord/tenant matters, contract issues, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, just call in the good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling, to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!

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