New Law Hopes To End Attacks On Retail Workers Over Masks
Since most stores have mandated mask-wearing during shopping, there have been plenty of videos on social media showing people taking out their frustrations on store workers who are trying to enforce the store policy. Now those workers have some legal help.
A new law went into effect in Illinois that could become the foundation for laws across the country that make an assault on a store worker who is trying to enforce the store's mask policy a felony.
According to CNN, the law focuses on public health concerns;
Adds a penalty for assaulting a worker who's "conveying public health guidance" -- that is, telling patrons of a business to wear a mask or maintain social distancing. In Illinois, aggravated battery is usually a felony.
Prior to the law being signed, if someone assaulted a store worker over not wearing a mask, they would have been charged with "simple battery" which has a penalty of up to one year in jail and $2500 in fines.
A felony has a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $25,000 dollars.
Illinois is the first state to address attacked over mask-wearing with a new law which could lead to other states following suit.
Many major national retailers like Walmart and Target require customers and employees to wear masks while inside the store.
Currently, in New York State, the mandate is that anytime your are outside your home and cannot be socially distant of at least six feet, you need to have a face covering or mask on.