Yesterday, May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance that fully-vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask in most indoor and outdoor locations. This fact, taken with Governor Steve Sisolak’s signed Emergency Directive 045 on May 3rd, which updated the mask and face covering requirements for the State of Nevada to align with the CDC’s recommendations on mask usage, presents a new shift in Nevada — and presents a big question for businesses and Nevada Business Lawyers. To (M)ask or Not to (M)ask?
Since the updated guidance on masks issued yesterday by the CDC is effective immediately in Nevada, it’s important to note that the State of Nevada neither requires nor prohibits private entities from confirming vaccination status of individuals. Along with that, employers and organizations are encouraged to post signage with the latest CDC mask guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. That being said, private businesses and entities and organizations may have mask policies that are more restrictive than the CDC guidance.
So, what are businesses to do? Ask their customers for proof of vaccination and potentially put themselves at odds Americans with Disabilities Act for denying access on the basis of not having proof of vaccination if the underlying reason for non vaccination is a disability? Or, simply not ask their patrons about their vaccination status or test results, but subject themselves to current capacity limits and/or potentially lose customers concerned with sharing space with those who aren’t vaccinated? Will they become complicit in vaccine shaming? Will they potentially run afoul of privacy laws, including violating health information privacy laws?
These are all important questions with far reaching implications for all size businesses in Nevada — and it could present challenges for everyone from Las Vegas Business Lawyers to their counterparts throughout the state. Gordon Law will continue to monitor emerging updates on this issue and provide updates accordingly. As the premier boutique Southern Nevada business law firm, we’re always available to assist you and can be reached at 702-527-5557 or visit us at GordonLawLV.com
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