July 6, 2020

Rob Lauer Political Reporter

Today, Las Vegas is expecting temperatures of 107. Wearing a mask outside in the heat is a recipe for heat stroke. But for many people with heart conditions, diabetes and respiratory problems, the cloudy benefits of wearing a mask are outweighed by the potential damage to disable folks’ health.

While masks “may” help reduce the spread of CV19, their respiratory health side effects are still being studied. According to one recent study conducted at Stanford University, N95 masks reduce oxygen by up to 20%. This can have significant health consequences for people wearing them all day at work and for those with disabilities.

As many state governors, like Steve Sisolak, mandate masks be worn inside all businesses in Nevada, many people with disabilities are demanding exceptions under the Federal law, known as the American With Disabilities Act.

Americans with Disabilities Act. “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government’ programs and services.”

So when a store clerk tells you to put on a mask but you have a known health issue that could be agitated by wearing one what are your rights? The ADA provides damages of $75,000 for the first offense and $150,000 for the 2nd violation. So here is the big question, does the ADA supersedes Gov. Sisolak’s mandate to wear masks?

Some employers are allowing employees to skip wearing masks who have a doctor’s note. But even this is a grey area.

If federal judges follow the Constitution, then Federal laws passed by Congress, like the ADA, trump state mandates and statutes. But with all the Obama appointed judges we can’t be certain our rights will be protected.

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