Major Automakers Keep Masks on Employees in Texas

The governor lifted mask mandates, but not all factories are on board.

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott bucked information from health experts and lifted the state's mask mandate. He also allowed businesses to reopen to 100 percent capacity. 

While the governor has pulled back on safety protocols, major employers in the state, including two big automakers, will keep masking up. 

According to Reuters, employees at General Motors and Toyota Motor will continue to enforce mask-wearing policies. 

Toyota has its U.S. headquarters and a factory in the Lone Star State. The Japanese carmaker builds full-size pickup trucks in San Antonio. Between the plant and the headquarters in Plano, the company has some 7,000 employees in Texas.

According to a Toyota spokesperson, there will be "no change for us."

GM has an even larger headcount, with about 13,500 employees in Texas. 

However, a GM rep told Reuters that the automaker would keep COVID-19 safety protocols in place to make sure employees remain protected. 

Employers have the ability not only to require employees to wear masks but also to receive the vaccine

The governor's executive order forbids any local jurisdiction from penalizing people for not wearing a mask. 

According to AARP, Texas will be the 16th U.S. state to drop the statewide face-covering safety measures. 

Medical experts have asked states to slowly reopen as an increasing number of people receive vaccinations. Abbott did note that he expects Texans to remain precautious.

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