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Can we require employees to wear masks in the workplace?

Generally, yes. Some workplaces may continue to have mandatory face-covering requirements that employers are obligated to enforce. In the absence of a legal obligation, employers can require face coverings as company policy when there is a legitimate business need, such as a genuine concern about employee health and safety.

Many employers are faced with employees who are refusing to comply with mask/face-covering requirements at work, either out right ignoring the directive or circumventing the requirement by not wearing face coverings as instructed (covering both the mouth and nose). In most cases, employers are able to enforce face-covering requirements in the workplace and discipline and/or terminate employees for failure to comply.

An employee who has a disability that interferes with the ability to wear a face covering may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The employee and employer should discuss the employee's specific circumstances and any available alternatives to the face-covering requirement. See How to Handle an Employee's Request for an ADA Accommodation.


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.