NC Poised to Mandate Masks and Social Distancing on Workers

01.19.24 10:00 AM Comment(s)

NC Poised to Mandate Masks and Social Distancing on Workers

James Lawrence, one of the top medical freedom attorneys in NC, recently alerted our community that the Department of Labor has accepted a petition for a rule requiring NC employers to enforce masking and social distancing on their employees whenever the WHO, CDC, or governor declares a public health emergency. 

About the Rule:

The NC Department of Labor actually has two petitions for rules before them. One rule covers general industry, including construction employers. The other rule covers migrant housing facilities. We are concerned about both rules. However, we will focus on the first rule that covers every employer, employee and place of employment within the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health division of NC. (Click here to see the petitions, beginning on page 7:

The rule would require every employer to have a written plan, with considerations being made for their specific industry, that goes into effect when a public health emergency is declared by the WHO, CDC, or the NC governor. This plan includes steps employers must take regarding employees masking, distancing, and testing, if the business requires. PPE will be purchased and supplied to the employees by the employer. Medical exemption for masking was not mentioned in the proposed rule.

If an employee tests positive, the business is required to also have a procedure for alerting other employees who may have been in contact with that employee. The rule also demands employers have a return-to-work criteria established for employees who test positive or who worked alongside an employee who did, and allow telework when applicable. 

The plan also states that if an employer notices an employee exhibiting symptoms of the declared infectious disease, the employer must remove the employee from the workplace until they either test negative or meet the other return-to-work criteria already established. Employers will have to report to the Occupational Safety and Health division of North Carolina (OSHA) any work-confirmed cases of the infectious disease if their business falls under the mandatory reporting. Fatalities and hospitalizations will also have to be reported to OSHA.

Employers must also outline how they are mitigating the spread of any airborne infectious disease through sanitization measures, which can include things such as air filtration and physical barriers.

In addition to these onerous regulations, employers will be required to train all employees on how to wear, remove, clean, and store PPE properly while limiting what can be considered a “face covering.” Training will also have to include how the disease spreads, being sure to address the ways it could spread in their specific workplace.

Vaccination for this infectious disease scenario is already assumed, as the rule requires the employer to offer paid leave for an employee who wishes to receive the vaccine. The employer must not only allow time for this, but also for the side effects the employee may experience from the shot.

What Precipitated the Rule?

The Petition for an infectious disease rule was submitted by the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry; the North Carolina State AFL-CIO; Union of Southern Service Workers; the Western North Carolina Workers' Center; the Hispanic Liaison of Chatham County/El Vinculo Hispano; and the North Carolina Conference of the NAACP. 


Does the Mask Rule Support Efforts to "Prepare for Disease X"?

The WHO has been warning of "Disease X" since at least 2018. Just this Wednesday, January 17, the World Economic Forum (WEF) hosted a meeting about preparing for it. 

In their promotions about the meeting they stated, “With fresh warnings from the World Health Organization that an unknown “Disease X” could result in 20 times more fatalities than the coronavirus pandemic, what novel efforts are needed to prepare healthcare systems for the multiple challenges ahead?” 

For more information about the WEF meeting on Disease X, see this report by Children's Health Defense.

Not only is the WEF working on Disease X, the US congress has several bills such as this one that lay the groundwork for Disease X.

This rule is a shortcut to creating a law that would have to undergo more scrutiny. Is this rule laying the groundwork for Disease X? Stopping this is an urgent matter for NC. We must prevent this next step in the Turnkey Totalitarian agenda that is being laid out for NC.

HEALNC is Collaborating with Other Health Freedom Organizations in NC

We have been researching this situation and speaking to attorneys about how the rulemaking process works in NC. There is much more to be done (and done quickly). The rule could be adopted as soon as March. We are creating a coordinated effort with other NC groups dedicated to health freedom to stop it.

We have organized our strategy into four phases which are based on the rulemaking process set forward by the Rule Review Commission:

Phase 1:  Attend public hearings about the proposed rule – The Department of Labor will be hosting two public hearings on January 23:



There are fifteen spots available at both hearings for people to share public comment in person. People can also share public comment on the video conferences (links above). They will fit as many 2-minute comments as possible in the allotted two hours for each hearing. Email and to register to speak either in person or virtually.


Please let us know if you will be testifying so we have a sense of how many health freedom testimonies they will receive. See our guide for help with formulating your testimony.

Phase 2:  Now until March 4 - maximize the number of written statements – We encourage our followers to write personal letters to the Department of Labor (emailed to the ruling. See our guide for help with formulating your letter.

Phase 3:  Get the Rule Diverted to the Legislature – Unless the rule is dropped, we will be following the process of formally objecting to the rule and having it sent to the legislature for review. The rule will be diverted if we submit at least 10 formal “objection letters.” We will let you know how to submit a formal objection once the window opens for objections.

Phase 4:  Influencing the Legislature – Once the rule is sent to the legislature, we will have a limited time to persuade our legislators to reject the rule or at least remove the power of the WHO, CDC, and governor.


What you can do:

  1. Follow our emails, texts and newsletters closely for more information as our strategy unfolds.
  2. Participate in the formal rulemaking process:
    • Attend one or both public hearings on Tuesday, January 23 (10:00 am and/or 1:00 pm, links above).
    • Submit your comments formally to the Department of Labor by March 4. Email your written comment to
    • In March or April we will let you know how to engage in our legislative outreach campaign. 
  3. SPREAD the word:
    • Share this article with everyone you know who is concerned about masking and social distancing mandates.
    • Talk with business owners you know. Ask them to join our coalition of business owners by emailing us at
    • Ask your friends to write to the Department of Labor. They can use our guide for help with writing their comment.

We are getting support from Stand for Health Freedom who has called our situation “a huge beast.” We are taking it very seriously and will keep you updated as soon as there is more information to share. 


If you missed the hearings, you may watch the recordings at the following links: