Business owner: Masks require employees to 'police' customers

Posted at 11:03 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 23:03:48-04

An update to Governor Whitmer’s mask requirements means store owners can’t assume someone has a medical condition if they aren’t wearing a mask.

Some stores posted signs that stated questioning a customer without a mask would violate HIPPA regulations. Governor Whitmer says all employees must go up to the customer and confirm they do indeed have a medical condition preventing mask use.

Businesses say it’s another hurdle to overcome in an executive order that requires employees to ‘police’ mask use.

Marco Bulnes, owner of Mayan Buzz Cafe, says customers have come in without a mask or in other cases, with holes in their masks.

“You can’t serve them, and they get upset abut it,” said Bulnes. “They want to have their own freedom of choice and they are not able to. And that also goes with the other problem of us having to police the our community, and we don’t want to do that.”

If businesses don’t ask, they could lose their licenses.

“It’s so difficult to get somebody to understand that it is not our fault,” said Bulnes. “It is the circumstances. The environment. But then also the orders come from higher above and we have no choice. So if everybody were to follow the rules, that would be great.”

At the same time, Bulnes says it’s putting businesses in an awkward position, responsible for mandating an executive order not every customer agrees with.

“That also goes with the other problem of us having to police our community, and we don’t want to do that,” said Bulnes, adding it’s time to find a middle ground.

Bulnes says he’s still waiting on PPP loans to come through, having gone to Detroit to secure the loans weeks ago.