Don’t argue with anti-masks, CDC warns stores

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This is the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for employees in the retail and service industries.

This week, the health agency released new guidelines to limit workplace violence that could be directed against workers while enforcing their company’s Covid-19 safety procedures.

Procedures that retail and service businesses have been urged to implement under CDC guidelines include enforcing mask wear, social distancing, and limiting the number of customers allowed in a business to that time.

But the CDC warns workers could be threatened or assaulted for using these safety measures, describing violence ranging from screaming and swearing to slapping and suffocating employees. The CDC has outlined a number of steps companies can take, including conflict resolution training for their workers, installing security systems, and identifying designated safe areas in stores where employees can. surrender if they feel in danger.

One of the agency’s biggest suggestions: “Don’t argue with a client if they make threats or become violent,” the CDC says.

The guidelines follow a number of violent incidents that have occurred at businesses across the country due to mask wearing requirements. Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania man was accused of shooting an employee after being asked to wear a mask at a cigar store.

Last month, Walmart (WMT), Home Depot (HD), CVS (CVS) and other department stores announced they would still serve customers who refuse to wear masks.

Walmart has provided talking points for its ambassadors and management to deal with anti-mask incidents. Managers were asked to ask customers if they’d like a free mask, and if they decline, talking points advise letting them continue shopping.

Although there is currently no federal law requiring masks to be worn, more than 30 states require people to wear masks or face masks in public. Retailers have been particularly put in a tough spot as safety concerns grow about how to protect employees from angry customers or workers who don’t want to follow mask-wearing rules.

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