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Illinois Businesses Face Criminal Charges for Failing to Enforce Mask Rule


On August 11, 2020, a state panel approved Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s mask rule, which requires businesses to ensure their customers wear facial coverings. Any business that violates this rule will face fines of up to $2,500. 

The governor attempted to pass the mask rule in May, but the state panel never voted. In addition, the original legislature included a provision that subjected business owners or managers to a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by jail time. Now, businesses will only be penalized financially. 

According to the mask rule, anyone over two years of age must wear a facial covering over their mouth and noses when around the public in an indoor or outdoor space (unless you’re eating and/or drinking at a restaurant) and cannot practice six feet of social distancing. Businesses must post signs that explain the mask requirements, offer face coverings for customers without them, and ask them to leave if they continue refusal. 

Schools, colleges, as well as day-care centers and homes must follow the mask rule. However, they will not be subject to fines. 

Before a business receives a fine for violating the mask order, the police or local public health departments must first warn businesses or groups with a written notice. If the written warning does not stop the business from violating the order, then local officials could order the dispersal of people in the business. If that does not work – and after two separate non-compliance citations – then local officials could issue fines. 

If you or your business is subject to a fine for failure to enforce the Illinois mask rule, contact the Law Office of Steven Fine today at (312) 436-0638 and schedule a free consultation.