Skip to main content

Retail group asks U.S. governors to mandate wearing face masks

Retailers want all state governors to mandate face mask wearing in their respective states.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association on Tuesday sent a letter to the National Governors Association in which it urged every governor to require customers to wear a mask when entering a retail store or other enclosed public space.

The letter encourages uniform, statewide orders “to create clarity for businesses, customers and law enforcement,” noting that different rules around the country have made it confusing for shoppers and often lead to arguments between customers and store employees who trying to enforce company policies. 

“Retailers are alarmed with the instances of hostility and violence front-line employees are experiencing by a vocal minority of customers who are under the misguided impression that wearing a face mask is a violation of their civil liberties,” stated Brian Dodge, president, RILA. 

Videos of customers not complying with a store’s rules to wear masks and getting into heated confrontations with employees have been going viral with increasing frequency. In the letter, Dodge said that store employees should not serve as primary enforcement for mask mandates

“Given the troubling incidents we have all seen on social media involving aggressive customers refusing to wear a mask, we strongly recommend store employees not be charged with primary enforcement of mask mandates and that retailers not be fined for non-compliance,” he said. 

“Retailers are using extensive signage at entrances and throughout the store to enforce safety policies, and we recommend this be the role of retailers and their employees — to clearly communicate policy, but not physically confront customers.”

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds