Submitted by Washington State Department of Commerce.
Starting June 8, workers statewide donned cloth facial coverings as they walked into work. As economic activity continues to accelerate, face coverings will be a critical measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at workplaces.
The requirement allows for a few exceptions. Those working alone in an office, vehicle, or jobsite are not required to wear a face covering. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who communicate with someone who relies on nonverbal language cues, are likewise exempt.
A worker with a medical condition or disability may also be exempt from the requirement. The employee must provide their employer with a medical professional’s accommodation statement that facial coverings or masks should not be worn due to their condition.
Employers are required to provide workers with the appropriate type of face covering, mask, or respirator depending on the level of risk for their specific type of work. Employees can also bring their own face covering if their work is in the low risk category. To clarify the requirements, the Department of Labor & Industries has published a manual for the proper selection and use of face coverings and respirators: “Which Mask for Which Task“. The department also released an FAQ Page to respond to common questions about the mask requirement.