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Face Coverings Required:  Mankato’s Indoor Spaces of Public Accommodation Image

Face Coverings Required: Mankato’s Indoor Spaces of Public Accommodation

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Beginning July 10, 2020, all individuals over the age of 12 must wear a mask or face covering over their nose and mouth when in a Mankato indoor space of public accommodation. This requirement was issued in that Emergency Ordinance 2020-4 (“Ordinance”) adopted by the Mankato City Council on July 6, 2020. A complete copy of the Ordinance may be found here.

Mankato public accommodation employers must require their employees to wear face coverings when engaging in face-to-face contact with members of the public. Those unable to medically tolerate face coverings are exempt from these requirements. Repeat violations of the Ordinance may result in administrative penalties, fines, and misdemeanor prosecution. Indoor spaces of public accommodations specifically include the following:

“[Any] business, refreshment, entertainment, or recreation facility, or institution of any kind, whether licensed or not, whose goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations are extended, offered, sold, or otherwise made available to the public. . . . retail stores, rental establishments, City of Mankato government buildings, and service establishments as well as recreational facilities, and service centers. In addition to, establishments and facilities that offer food and beverage not for on-premises consumption, including grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries [.]”

The following facilities are specifically excluded from the Ordinance’s definition of public accommodation: health care facilities, daycares, congregate care facilities, juvenile justice facilities, crisis shelters, soup kitchens, restaurants, secured airport zoned restaurants and food courts, and Minnesota State University, Mankato’s campus. Individuals are also still free to exercise without a mask or face covering under the Ordinance.

What constitutes an individual’s ability to “medically tolerate” a face covering or mask is not defined by the Ordinance. Thus, employers are encouraged to contact their Gislason & Hunter LLP attorney for assistance in determining the Ordinance’s applicability to their business and enforcement of the Ordinance in their workplace.

This notice is provided to serve as an overview of Mankato’s Emergency Ordinance 2020-4 and does not constitute legal advice. For additional information regarding this order or any employment matter, please contact the author of this article or a member of Gislason & Hunter, LLP’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group at 507.387.1115.