Hillsborough County weighs possible motion for workers who cover their faces

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – During Thursday’s meeting of the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group, a discussion took place on a possible motion on face-covering and mask usage in a private setting or workplace.

Commissioner Kimberly Overman brought up the idea for the motion, which centers on giving residents the right to wear a mask despite their employer’s wishes or desires.

This proposed motion is not to be confused with a motion previously brought up in the group, which would require citizens to wear a face-covering in public.

“We voted down mandatory mask-wearing in public,” Commissioner Overman said. “What this request is, is allowing our citizens – our constituents – the right to wear a mask in public and in private settings.”

Overman continued by saying there is no current protection for an employee that needs or wants to wear a face-covering or mask in order to continue their employment.

“It’s a guidance. It’s a recommendation,” Overman said. “But we’re desperately trying to help people go back to work, the last thing we want is a bunch of fired people because an employer has decided they don’t want people to wear masks in the employment setting.”

The commissioner clarified several times to the group and the public listening that this motion would not require anyone to wear a mask but would allow individuals in Hillsborough County to wear a mask in public or in a private setting if they so choose.

“If the employer says ‘I don’t want you to wear a mask,’ (the employee) would say ‘I want to wear a mask,'” Commissioner Sandra Murman double-checked.

“I’ll be interested to see how that comes back. I’m not saying I’m for or against it right now but I definitely think somebody’s business is their business,” Murman said. “You’re right I don’t want to see mask firings. But I think it kind of treads that fine line of what we can tell private businesses (what) they can do and not do.”

This motion will be further discussed and voted on during the EPG’s June 4 meeting at 1:30 p.m.

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