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What Do We Do with the Maskless?
Employers are not medical professionals

Governor Kate Brown eased her lockdown on gyms and recreation. Stores providing food have never been shutdown and, at worst, were limited to 75% capacity, which is technically no limit. But, they have been empowered to protect their business through intimidation, threats, bullying, and physical blockage to keep customers from entering a store if not wearing a mask.

Such was the case last week when Northwest Observer was notified of threats at the Albany Wal-Mart. When Loma Wharton approached the store, a male employee followed her into the store while calling a “Front End Manager” who informed her that if she did not put a mask on, she would call the police.

Wharton has health issues, and she is fully aware that the Oregon Health Authority guidelines say she should not be made to wear a mask. “If you have a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or a disability that prevents you from wearing a mask, you can request an accommodation from the business or venue or transit authority.”

Wharton researched her rights and was prepared for any business questioning her. She stopped at the entrance and filled out a document she brought with her. The document reads:

“There is no law in Oregon, State, County, or City that requires citizens to wear a mask either in public or in business establishments, nor is there a regulation to require employees or patrons of those establishments to wear a mask.” All that exists is an edict from the Governor of Oregon, who has no authority over any of these matters. See the following:

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees v. Olson, 338 N.W.2d 97 (N.D. 1983): “It is well settled that public officials have only such authority as is expressly given them by the constitution and statutes together with those powers and duties which are necessarily implied from the express grant of authority,” 338 N.W.2d, at 100.

In re Benny, 29 B.R. 754, 762 (N.D. Cal. 1983): “[A]m unlawful or unauthorized exercise of power does not become legitimated or authorized by reason of habitude.”

An Oregon Revised Statute does exist that prohibits public businesses from discriminating against those who do not wear a mask. I suggest you read ORS 659A.142. “Discrimination against individual with disability by employment agency, labor organization, place of public accommodation or state government prohibited.”

Employers are not law enforcement agents and have no authority to act as such.

Employers are not medical professionals and have no authority to administer a medical examination or give medical advice, including advice to wear a mask.

If a public business, in the case Wal-Mart refuses entry into its facility for not wearing a mask for health reasons, they are in violation of the Oregon Constitution, which protects free movement against false imprisonment.

No Business is required to comply with a policy that violates Oregon law or my Rights guaranteed under the Oregon Constitution.

Laws are created by legislative bodies such as Congress or the Oregon State Legislature, not Governor Brown. Governors and mayors cannot enact laws. Their executive orders are binding only on government employees and contractors under their jurisdiction.

Wharton attempted to hand the signed document to the Front End Manager, but she refused to take it claiming to be a private company. The Front End Manager didn’t ask her to leave the store, but was threatening. If the police had come, her plan was to site their violation of ORS 659A.142, discrimination against individual with disability by place of public accommodation by forcing her to wear a mask or arrest her.

Wharton has since sent the document to Paul Redman, Wal-Mart Store Manager, relaying the incident and her restraint from entering the store, which forced her to wait in the car for family to do her shopping. She said, “It is obvious Wal-Mart does not know Oregon Laws and puts their employees, and Wal-Mart itself at great risk for being sued by enforcing an unlawful unconstitutional edict from Governor Brown.”

The Oregon State Legislature has introduced fifteen bills protecting the rights of the disabled, but none address the mistreatment that disabled people are reporting - keeping them out of public places for failure to wear masks.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-30 18:34:50Last Update: 2021-01-30 19:24:10



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