New Houghtaling Bill Allows Businesses to Deny Services to Customers who Refuse to Follow Pandemic Guidelines

OCEAN TOWNSHIP—Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling introduced new legislation (A4445) this Monday that would allow businesses and private buildings to deny services to or remove individuals who refuse to comply with the health and safety measures implemented on-site during a public health emergency.

These measures may include, but are not limited to: wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, or following hygiene rules.

“This bill will allow businesses and private buildings to deny service and access to individuals who refuse to comply with the health and safety measures implemented during a public health emergency,” said Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “The greatest tools we have to stop the spread of coronavirus are social distancing, good hygiene, and wearing masks. These factors must all be taken seriously if we expect to rid ourselves of this terrible disease. We all share in this responsibility. If a business wants to keep its employees and customers safe, it should have the ability to do that. It’s their property, their health, and their livelihoods at stake.”

The provisions of this bill would be applied consistently with the federal “Americans with Disabilities Act,” and would not permit discriminatory or retaliatory actions toward members of protected classes, including individuals with disabilities. As such, businesses and private buildings affected by this legislation would not be able to deny services to or remove individuals who are unable to comply with health and safety requirements due to disability or for medical reasons.


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