Requirements for workers with medical and disability issues that prevent the use of a cloth face covering or mask?
Face shields alone do not prevent the spread of COVID 19 and do not meet the face-covering requirement. Employees with a medical or disability issue, who are requesting accommodation, must provide their employer with an accommodation statement from their medical professional specifying that a face covering or mask should not be worn due to their present health condition. Employers cannot just allow the employee to work without a mask with no other mitigations or accommodations.
Employers should assess any negative impacts that face coverings might have on employees with disabilities and make accommodations per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For example, workers communicating with people who are deaf or hard of hearing may need to temporarily unmask while staying at least 6 feet away or behind a physical barrier or wear an approved face shield closed with fabric around the contour of the face and neck in order to allow for lip-reading.
Source: WA Dept. of Labor & Industries
Posted August 21, 2020