Effective December 21, 2021, through at least January 31, 2022, DC law requires that all individuals wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. As we previously reported, just last month DC Mayor Muriel Bowser significantly scaled back the District’s indoor mask mandate, which had required masks in all indoor public places since the end of July.

According to the latest order, “[s]ection II of Mayor’s Order 2021-097, dated July 29, 2021, is reinstated, to the extent that it requires all persons to wear masks indoors.” This requirement applies in the following locations, among others: (i) businesses, except for enclosed offices where no other persons may enter; (ii) restaurants and taverns when persons are not actively eating or drinking; (iii) sports and entertainment venues; (iv) gyms, recreation centers, and other indoor athletic facilities; (v) grocery stores and pharmacies; (vi) big box stores; (vii) retail establishments; and (viii) common areas of hotels. The order authorizes the DC Department of Health to promulgate further regulations and guidance on the scope and implementation of the mandate.

In addition, the order “strongly encourages” businesses and other private establishments to require their employees and visitors be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 consistent with federal and District law and to have “robust procedures in place for verifying documentation of such vaccination.” DC employers must also comply with the COVID-19 Vaccination Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 which, as we previously reported, requires employers to provide paid leave to employees and their children for time spent obtaining and, if needed, recovering from side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine, and unpaid leave for other COVID-19 related absences.

We will continue to monitor and report on further developments from DC, including the forthcoming guidance from DC Health.

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Proskauer’s cross-disciplinary, cross-jurisdictional Coronavirus Response Team is focused on supporting and addressing client concerns.  Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for guidance on risk management measures, practical steps businesses can take and resources to help manage ongoing operations.

Photo of Guy Brenner Guy Brenner

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and leads the Firm’s Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment practice. He is head of the Government Contractor Compliance Group and is co-head of the Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Group. He has…

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and leads the Firm’s Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment practice. He is head of the Government Contractor Compliance Group and is co-head of the Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Group. He has extensive experience representing employers in both single-plaintiff and class action matters, as well as in arbitration proceedings. He also regularly assists federal government contractors with the many special employment-related compliance challenges they face.

Guy represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor litigation and counseling, with an emphasis on non-compete and trade secrets issues, medical and disability leave matters, employee/independent contractor classification issues, and the investigation and litigation of whistleblower claims. He assists employers in negotiating and drafting executive agreements and employee mobility agreements, including non-competition, non-solicit and non-disclosure agreements, and also conducts and supervises internal investigations. He also regularly advises clients on pay equity matters, including privileged pay equity analyses.

Guy advises federal government contractors and subcontractors all aspects of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regulations and requirements, including preparing affirmative action plans, responding to desk audits, and managing on-site audits.

Photo of Arielle E. Kobetz Arielle E. Kobetz

Arielle Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. She assists employers in a wide range of areas, including discrimination, wage and hour, and traditional labor.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Arielle served as a law clerk at the New York…

Arielle Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. She assists employers in a wide range of areas, including discrimination, wage and hour, and traditional labor.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Arielle served as a law clerk at the New York City Human Resources Administration, Employment Law Unit, where she worked on a variety of employment discrimination and internal employee disciplinary issues.