Miami-Dade FL March 25 2020
A security guard working for a Miami-Dade County subcontractor claims he was temporarily suspended without pay for wearing a surgical mask to work.
Luis Herrera wore a face mask while working at the Hialeah Metrorail Station, where he says dozens of people are still getting on rides, including the elderly, each day.
“I thought it was a fair shot for everyone to be protected, not only for us to be protected against them, but for them to be protected against us,” Herrera said.
He said he was given an ultimatum – to take off the mask, or to go home.
The owner of Vista Security, the subcontractor that hired Herrera, said he had no problem with the face mask and that the order came from the county contractor, Allied Universal. Allied told NBC 6 in a statement that the situation with Herrera was resolved and that he has returned to work.
The county transit department said the incident was likely a result of CDC guidelines, which recommend face masks only for medical personnel or people who are sick.
“They say one thing one day, they say one thing the next day,” said Herrera, who is now allowed to wear his face mask. “Obviously they do protect you because if not the surgeons wouldn’t be wearing masks, the nurses wouldn’t be wearing masks and the people doing the actual testing wouldn’t be wearing the mask as well.”