Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Face Coverings

MnDOT Policy #WF030
Revised: June 30, 2021

View/print signed policy (PDF)

Please go to the MnDOT Org Chart to find specific contact information: Org Chart.

Responsible Senior Officer: Deputy Commissioner/Chief Administrative Officer
Policy Owner: Director, Office of Human Resources
Policy Contact: Agency Emergency Management and Safety Manager

Policy statement

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) fully adopts the Minnesota Management and Budget statewide policy, Revised Face Coverings Policy for Agency Staff, HR/LR #1442, including future modifications..

To mitigate to the extent reasonably possible, the transmission of respiratory droplets by agency staff who are not fully vaccinated and may be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carriers of COVID-19, all agency employees, officers, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a face covering according to this policy and the MnDOT COVID-19 Face Covering Guidance when in the workplace or public service environment.

All agency employees, whether or not fully vaccinated, are expected to wear face coverings when working in non-State buildings if required to do so by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, or regulations, or if required by the property owner (e.g., inspecting businesses, attending conferences, traveling on public transportation, etc.).

Employees who fail to wear a face covering in the workplace or public service environment as required may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Staff who fail to wear a face covering when required also may be sent home and placed in no-pay status.

Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for staying home when ill. All staff, whether or not fully vaccinated, should stay home if they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Employees must continue to follow MMB HR/LR Policy #1432 Respectful Workplace and must not engage in harassing, discriminatory, or retaliatory behavior towards others based on the use of face coverings.

Non-employee staff (officers, contractors, vendors, volunteers, interns) may be subject to action up to and including termination of their relationship with MnDOT.

Reason for policy

Minnesota Management and Budget’s (MMB) Statewide Operating Policy requires each agency to:

  • adopt the statewide policy;
  • communicate the policy to all employees, officers, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns;
  • require affected staff to comply with the policy, including sending staff home and/or taking other action for non-compliance when appropriate;
  • train staff on proper practices for putting on and taking off face coverings;
  • provide reasonable accommodation under the ADA to employees who cannot wear face coverings due to their disability;
  • provide reasonable modifications to non-employee staff who cannot wear face coverings due to their disability;
  • conspicuously post one or more signs in places visible to all staff providing notice of the face covering requirement; and
  • include the face covering requirement in the agency’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, inform staff how the Plan has been updated, and make the revised Plan available to their staff.  

Minnesota Management and Budget ensures that the statewide policy is accurate, updated, and that relevant interpretations of law are considered.

Applicability

All MnDOT employees must comply with MnDOT policies.

Key stakeholders affected by this policy include:

  • Staff (employees, officers, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns)
  • Managers and Supervisors
  • Human Resources (Central Office and Districts)
  • District Engineers/Office Directors/Facility Management
  • Safety Administrators
  • MnDOT Emergency Management

This policy does not apply to staff when they are in settings where they are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) masks or respirators, rather than face coverings.

This policy does not apply to staff while they are working from home.

Definitions

COVID-19

The name of the disease caused by the new coronavirus that is called SARS-CoV-2, or sometimes just “novel coronavirus.”

Face Covering

An item worn on the face to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. This includes the following:

  • paper or disposable mask, cloth face mask, scarf, bandana, or religious face covering that:
    • fits snugly against the sides of the face;
    • covers the nose and mouth completely;
    • is secured over the nose and mouth; and
    • allows for breathing without restriction.
  •  medical-grade masks and respirators. Note: to preserve adequate supplies, their purchase and use is discouraged for staff who do not work in a health care setting or other occupations that require medical-grade protective equipment (e.g., certain construction occupations).

Masks that incorporate a valve designed for easy exhaling, mesh masks, or faces coverings with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design material, or vents are not sufficient face coverings because they allow droplets to be released.

Face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE), are not appropriate substitutes for PPE, and are not intended to be used when staff need PPE for protection against exposure to occupational hazards.

Note: See the MnDOT COVID-19 Face Covering Guidance and the Center for Disease Control recommendations for additional details.

Fully Vaccinated

According to the CDC, in general, people are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccination series; or
  • 2 weeks after a single-does COVID-19 vaccine.

If you do not meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated.

Public Service Environment

A location outside of the agency workplace where the staff member is providing public service on behalf of the agency, other than in the staff member’s home. The public service environment may be indoors or outdoors.

Social Distance/Social Distancing

Keeping at least 6 feet of distance from other individuals who are not members of the staff’s household.

Staff

Employees, officers (e.g., board members), contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns.

Workplace

For the purposes of this policy, a MnDOT workplace includes any public service environment, office, lab, field, project trailer, or other physical location that is owned and/or controlled by MnDOT. This does not include a teleworking location.

Responsibilities

Staff

  • Comply with this policy and the MnDOT COVID-19 Face Covering Guidance.
  • For those unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability, request a reasonable accommodation as provided in MnDOT’s Reasonable Accommodation Policy.
  • For those requiring a religious accommodation, contact the Office of Equity and Diversity for assistance.
  • Report to their supervisor if wearing a face covering would create a job hazard or risk to the staff member or others, as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety and health standards and guidelines.
  • Contact supervisor if a face covering is needed.

Managers and Supervisors

  • Ensure employees, volunteers, and interns are aware of the policy.
  • Coordinate with staff to provide face coverings, as needed.
  • Discuss policy with staff who are unwilling to wear face coverings.
  • Consult with human resources regarding employee non-compliance with the face covering requirement, including when there may be a need to send staff home.

Human Resources (Central Office and Districts)

  • Enforce policy and guidelines, including taking action for non-compliance.
  • Provide reasonable accommodation or modification to staff unable to wear a face covering in accordance with the exemptions specified in the MnDOT COVID-19 Face Covering Guidance.

Office of Equity and Diversity

  • Assist Human Resources with reasonable accommodation solutions.

District Engineers/Office Directors/Facility Management

  • Post one or more signs in places visible to all staff providing notice of the face covering requirement.
  • Provide face coverings to all staff who are onsite at MnDOT workplaces.
  • Maintain an inventory of face coverings to provide to visitors, as needed.

MnDOT contact persons for contractors and vendors (i.e. Project Managers, procurement contacts, etc.)

  • Ensure contractors and vendors are aware of this policy.

Safety Administrators and Emergency Management Continuity Planners

  • Provide training for employees on the proper practices for wearing, maintaining, and cleaning face coverings in accordance with the policy and MnDOT COVID-19 Face Covering Guidance.
  • Conduct ongoing observational safety audits to include COVID-19 safe work practices in accordance with MnDOT’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan.

MnDOT Emergency Management

  • Include the face covering requirement in MnDOT’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan.
  • Inform employees of updates to MnDOT’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan and make the Plan available to all employees.

Policy Owner (Director, Office of Human Resources)

  • Review policy every year, or whenever MMB makes changes to its statewide policy, to ensure policy remains up-to-date.
  • Ensure guidance and training associated with the policy remains current.
  • Work with Policy Coordinator to revise policy and/or confirm its accuracy.
  • Communicate policy adoption and revisions, reviews, and retirements to stakeholders.

Resources and related information

Processes, Procedures, and Instructions

Resources

  • Business Data Catalog (BDC) – accessible from employee Intranet
  • MnDOT’s Policy Website

History and updates

Adopted

October 28, 2020

Amended/Revised

  • First Revision: June 30, 2021

Policy Review

This policy's next scheduled review is due June 2022.