Face-Covering Requirements for Businesses in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois


Indiana Governor Holcomb issued a face-covering requirement for certain businesses under Executive Order 20-26. Under this Executive Order, restaurants and personal service businesses (e.g., spas, salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors) must require all employees and staff to wear face coverings.


Kentucky Governor Beshear issued Executive Order 2020-323 that states all businesses are subject to the requirements detailed in the Orders of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (“CHFS”).

The Order issued by the CHFS on May 11, 2020, requires all business to provide personal protective equipment (“PPE”) to employees and ensure to the greatest extent practicable that their employees wear a cloth mask. A business need not require an employee to wear a mask when a mask would create a serious health or safety hazard to the employee or when the employee is working alone in an enclosed space.

Businesses must ensure that employees whose job duties include touching items often touched by others (e.g., credit cards/cash, paper, computers) wear gloves that are regularly replaced.


Illinois Governor Pritzker issued a face-covering requirement for businesses and other places of public accommodation under Executive Order 2020-32.

Under this Executive Order, essential businesses and manufacturers must provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six feet of social distancing. Additionally, all persons in Illinois over the age of two must wear a mask or face-covering when in a public place or unable to maintain a six-foot social distance.

The Illinois Department of Human Rights issued guidance to stores and businesses concerning the face-covering requirement. A store or business in Illinois can generally prohibit individuals from entering the building if they do not have a face-covering in order to protect the health of others. However, there is an exception for individuals with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face-covering (listed below).

Reasonable Accommodation

In Illinois, places of public accommodation, including businesses, are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to individuals with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing face-coverings as long as it does not cause an undue hardship. Agencies in Indiana and Kentucky have not issued guidance on accommodations or exceptions to the face-covering requirement, although such accommodations may be required under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Illinois advises individuals to either contact the business to request an accommodation ahead of their visit or do so upon arrival.

The individual and business should discuss a reasonable accommodation that will not cause the business undue hardship or endanger other individuals. Some examples of accommodations that may be reasonable and not cause undue hardship are:

  1. Provide the individual an opportunity to order by telephone or online and provide pickup at a special register or curbside or deliver to the individual’s home;
  2. Arrange for an employee to bring the individual the items for purchase and allow the individual to pay at a special register, over the phone, or at the front of the store;
  3. Provide the individual with the opportunity to leave a list of items with the business and pick them up at a later time or arrange for delivery to the individual’s home; or
  4. Provide the individual with an opportunity to shop during off-peak times where social distancing can be maintained.

Please contact your KDDK attorney or any member of the KDDK labor and employment law team or KDDK business law team for additional information and individualized guidance on this or any related topic.

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