Governor Mills Announced the Phase 2 of Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program Funding for an Expanded Pool of Maine Businesses & Non-Profits (click to read the announcement).
Under Phase 2, businesses and non-profits that employ up to 250 people will be eligible for grant rewards. The Department of Economic and Community Development estimates that nearly 3,000 more businesses and non-profit organizations will be eligible for grants as a result of the program’s expansion. The online Application portal will open on September 23, 2020 and will remain open until October 23, 2020.
*GRANT APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2020*
We’re All in This Together
At every step of the way, we have injected our voice to help. We clarified who was considered essential in the early days, consistently provided industry best-practices and protocols, advocated for clear guidelines and policy adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety, diligently answered all your questions, and immersed ourselves in anything and everything COVID-19 to be your industry expert. The coronavirus has affected everyone and continues to place incredible demands on our industry.
Jordan Payne Hay is an employment and labor law attorney at Skelton Taintor & Abbott. She offered to answer some questions we submitted to her in an effort for us to respond to the flurry of inquires we have received on face-coverings. This article is not legal advice but should be considered as general guidance in the area of employment and corporate law.
Can a business actually deny service to anyone not wearing a mask? Is this an ADA violation?
- Yes. The ADA generally prohibits public accommodations from establishing criteria that excludes individuals based on a disability, unless “the criteria are necessary for the business to operate safely in providing its goods and services,” based on actual risks (not be based on speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations). At this time, guidance from the CDC and the EEOC suggests that businesses concerned about the safety of their staff and customers should be justified in relying on state and local governments’ orders, to justify policies forbidding customers without face masks from entering their stores. As a best practice, and to avoid unwelcomed situations at the store, a business choosing to enforce such a policy should clearly communicate it to its customers (including in advance, e.g., via its website or a sign out front). The Executive Order also says, “Such businesses may deny entry or service to a person who is not wearing a covering and is not otherwise exempt from the requirement to do so.”