Bloomberg Law
July 21, 2020, 9:32 AM

No Mask, No Service Rules Leave Workers Open to Customer Abuse

Robert Iafolla
Robert Iafolla
Fatima Hussein
Fatima Hussein
Legal Reporter

Retail and food service workers who face verbal abuse and even physical violence from customers objecting to pandemic mask requirements have little legal guarantee that their employers will protect them.

Customer mask mandates are spreading among states and in corporate America, with Walmart Inc. announcing its nationwide requirement last week, joining companies like Best Buy Co. Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp., and Starbucks Corp.

At the same time, viral videos and news reports of anti-mask customer outbursts reveal another novel threat to worker safety created by the coronavirus. Employers risk liability for not shielding workers from customer harassment ...

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