CERES (CBS13) – Sara Fontana is upset she was kicked out of her In-Shape gym in Ceres for not wearing a mask while working out. She has asthma and says wearing a mask while running isn’t doable.
“I fall under one of the exemptions, medical condition,” she said.READ MORE: 'Hate Seeing Animals Go Through That': Panicked Pup Finally Rescued After Months Running
Under the state’s guidelines for face coverings, people must wear a face covering when inside any indoor public space. But people with a medical condition are exempt including those who may have a hard time breathing because of the mask.
But can a business refuse service to someone for not wearing a mask? Even if they are exempt?
Attorney Mark Reichel says a business can ask a customer if they are exempt.READ MORE: Unmasked Crowd At Yuba City High School Basketball Game Leads to School District Investigation
“If someone is asserting an exemption, absolutely. The burden is on them obviously to prove their exemption is legitimate and to back it up with medical paperwork,” Reichel explained.
Fontana just wishes her situation was handled differently.
“They need to come up with some form of identification maybe they put us in a specific spot so people know that there is an exemption for these people working out,” she said.MORE NEWS: 'One Chip Challenge': Social Media Trend Involving Spicy Chips Lands Lodi Students In Emergency Room
Francesca Schuler, CEO of In-Shape Health Clubs, said in a statement:
Our policy has and always will be to work with members to handle exemptions. We offered our member as we do with all members an opportunity to work with us on finding an accommodation to keep her safe and all members around her safe but she chose to not take advantage of it which then could place other members in the club at risk. Her membership has not been canceled. We are reaching out to her again and hoping we can find a safe and suitable solution.