About a week ago, our company president issued a policy requiring employees to comply with the social distancing requirements issued by the state. To that end, the company procured some masks, which were to be kept by each employee and used whenever employees needed to have meetings with each other to minimize the risk of infection. All meetings with clients at the office are prohibited, so client preferences are irrelevant.
The problem is NOBODY is following this policy. We are small office of maybe 40 some people. When I say nobody, I mean that myself and one other employee are following these rules.
I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with this as I've an office and can close the door; or I can work from home. However, there's recently been a very major project opportunity that I've been tapped to lead and I really want to lead it as it's going to be both very interesting as well as allow me to advance my professional standing in a very substantial way.
However, in order to do this project well, I need to attend a lot of in-person meetings to discuss specific elements. Attending these meetings are the company president, my manager, the overall project manager, and senior project managers; none of them are wearing masks.
In the past two weeks, we've had at least 4 in-person meetings. I learned that I also missed another one because I had been working from home and thus missed out on some important information until I was updated later.
If it is relevant, the medical guidance on this is that wearing a mask protects others from yourself. Thus, doing so is an act of protection towards others. Furthermore, I have asthma and am in an at-risk category from COVID-19. Several of these senior employees also have family members who are in the at-risk category.
To address some concerns:
I don't think this is a duplicate of this question. I do have the option to work from home, however, the nature of this opportunity does necessitate in-person meetings. I could simply insist on working from home on this, but I will miss meetings since a lot of them are impromptu.
Some ideas I have considered thus far are (and potential drawbacks):
- At the next meeting, stop the meeting from starting and insist that everyone wears a mask before we begin.
Pros: Doesn't single any one person out. Cons: Might have to deal with a bunch of group pushback because I'm calling everyone out in a public setting.
- Having a 1 on 1 meeting with my manager to discuss the issue.
Pros: More private and he has the ability to actually enforce the change. Cons: He's among the people not complying. So I'm still going to be pointing the finger at him.
- Report things to the State.
Pros: Probably get what I want. Cons: Probably completely destroy my credibility if it is revealed that I made the report.
I am looking for input whether any of these is preferable or if there's an option I've not considered. Is there any guidance to be offered regarding how I can remind all of these more senior employees about the importance of wearing a mask?