Office Depot Broke the Law – I’m Damn Mad!

Office Depot Broke the Law – I’m Damn Mad!
“CAN’T MASK; DON’T ASK!”

We know because the research tells us (and WHO and Fauci have said so recently) that masks do nothing to prevent the spread of viral diseases. NOTHING. But today, in the Office Depot store here on Broadway in Tucson AZ, that knowledge meant nothing.

I want to share what happened to me today with you because there is so much important information here about freedom, health and law.

You know that under all the Masking Mandates if you have a health problem, you do not have to mask. That is not because of some unexpected rational data bit by a governor or mayor: in the United States, it’s the law, no matter where in the US you are.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990 and revised in 2009. It says, in brief, that if you have a disability, it MUST be accommodated in a way that does not invade your privacy or discriminate against you. And doing so is a federal crime punishable by jail and/or fines.

So today, I was literally waiting for our Advance Sanitary Masking Directive (ASMD) cards to be delivered so we could mail them out to the hundreds of people who understand that if masking is not good for them, they can claim their right to NOT mask under ADA.

The ASMD card is designed to help make that clear to the people who want them to violate their health concerns.

They do not have to document or discuss those health concerns, just assert them.  Period.

I knew that Sue, our Customer Service person, and I would need a lot of envelopes and Advance Vaccine Directive card instruction sheets for the Advance Directive cards we would be sending out starting today once the shipment of Advance Sanitary Masking Directive cards arrived, so I went to my nearby Office Depot to get copies and envelopes.

I took my Service Dog (which has to be accommodated as long as he is under control, which he is, of course – and no one can demand to know what his service to me is – that would invade my privacy under ADA) and headed out on my office supply run.

As I was walking to the copy area, an Office Depot staff person stopped me and told me that I had to wear a mask. Wrong.

I courteously told him that people with health concerns of any kind were exempt from masking requirements under the ADA. He retorted that it was “store policy” and that he had been “told that by his manager. “I replied that he needed to have his store’s legal department clarify the law for him since his store was covered by the ADA.

At that point a female employed came up and very hostilely demanded that I wear a mask immediately. I pointed out the same facts to her and asked her to contact her legal department. She became much more hostile and told me that if I did not put a mask on, she would call security.

At that point, because of the extreme (and inappropriate) hostility, raised voice, tense posture, etc., my very large German Shepherd, Timber, decided that I was being menaced (I was) and barked a warning (appropriately) at the menacing staff person.

I asked the aggressive woman to wait a moment because I wanted to have her say again what store policy was while I recorded her because she was actually violating US law and I wanted a record of it.

Oh, my! She went ballistic and screamed at me that I was not taking any videos in her store and told her fellow employee to call security to get me out of the store.

At that point, her aggression was about to trigger my very protective dog and, as much as I would have liked to see what was going to happen next, in the absence of the Advance Sanitary Masking Directive card, it seemed pretty clear that I had a dog who was ready to spring into protective action that could get him -and/or me – beaten or shot  and God knows what else.

Leaving seemed a good idea to protect both Timber and me.

So I left.

When I got home, there they were: the Advance Sanitary Masking Cards were on my door step.

Sue is not only our Customer Service representative, she is also my friend who dog sits Timber for me sometimes. I will ask her to keep him for me and then I’ll go back to the same Office Depot with my camera on and present my signed, dated ASMD card AFTER I have made contact with Office Depot Corporate Headquarters. You can see the email that I sent to their CEO and Director, Gerry P. Smith, at the end of this article.

I am not going ANYWHERE without my Advance Sanitary Masking Directive card, along with my Advance Vaccine Directive card. And I am not putting a ridiculous cloth mask on my face.

How about you?

Remember, masks are political theater, not disease protection. as the more-than-a-million marchers in Germany said today, Masks are Muzzles.

To take advantage of the super low introductory prices of our Advance Sanitary Masking Directive Card (along with the Advance Vaccine Directive card) AND get free shipping and handling, click here: https://tinyurl.com/maskexemption

Special prices only through this month, August, 2020.

Yours in health and freedom,

Dr. Rima
PS: Here is the text of the letter I sent to the Gerry P. Smith. CEO and Director of Office Depot, https://www.officedepot.com/customerservice/customerServiceDisplay.do:

Gerry P. Smith
CEO & Director, Office Depot

Dear Mr. Smith:

I am writing to you about a serious violation of my rights under the Americans With Disability Act by your employees at the Office Depot Store at 3413 E Broadway Boulevard, Tucson AZ 85726. This violation took place on the afternoon of August 5, 2020.

I entered the store with my Service Dog and was approached by a male employee. If he had a name tag, it was not obvious to me. He told me to put on a mask.  I told him that people with health issues were not required to mask under the Americans with Disability Act and the rules set forth by the State of Arizona.  

He insisted that it was company policy and that I had to wear a mask to stay in the store. 

I once again informed him that it was my legal right not to mask if I believed I would be harmed by that act under the ADA and asked him to check with the corporate legal department.  He refused to do so and said that his manager had told him everyone had to mask (which may or may not have occurred, but your store is within the confines of the US and of Arizona and is therefore subject to US  and State law).

At that point, a woman, also unidentified, came up to us and in a very aggressive manner insisted that I had to wear a mask. I repeated to her what I had told the other employee and she became verbally aggressive and insisted that I had to wear a mask. 

I suggested that she needed to consult with her legal department and her level of aggression rose significantly telling me that she would do no such thing and spoke to someone unseen (phone? internal communication system?) saying “Call security” and telling me again that I had to mask or leave the store.

I decided to leave, given that her aggression was beginning to alert my German Shepherd Service Dog and I did not want her to trigger his protective behavior, which would be likely to end badly for everyone involved so I chose to leave your store.  I was upset and emotionally and legally violated.

Not only did your employees not identify themselves, their training was absolutely inadequate in the actual law of both the US and Arizona.  They violated my rights by refusing me service under circumstances in which I had the right to be served in a non-discriminatory manner. They were aggressive and disrespectful toward me, heedless of whether or not their public aggression humiliated and demeaned me. They threatened me with ejection from your store for the “offense” of asserting my legally protected right under the laws of the country and state.

I am a 76 year old woman  and I felt physically intimidated and threatened by your staff. The disrespect and illegal abridgment of my rights by your ill-trained and ill-mannered staff is appalling.

I am also the Medical Director of a large health freedom organization with whose supporters I am sharing this outrageous corporate behavior.

I look forward to your prompt and helpful response and to being assured that your staff is being trained to understand and support the rights of people protected by statute and regulation to move about freely without being subjected to arbitrary and capricious, illegal restrictions that violate their rights.

Yours in health and freedom,
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Medical Director
Natural Solutions Foundation

18 thoughts on “Office Depot Broke the Law – I’m Damn Mad!

  1. Awesome !!! I am going to keep your letter as a guideline to send to ROSS, and Home Depot. I have a similar experience with ROSS, the cloth store. Other stores post signs that they require everyone to wear a mask but do not execute their requirement. However, they should change the demand from “require” to “request” since they do not have the rights to require wearing a mask. Thanks for sharing. Awesome.

  2. Dear Dr. Rima, Thank you for your leadership. I am an American in France and 1) I am relieved that someone(s) are standing up for our rights and 2) I have to find someone(s) over here who can see the same light and help the many of us who see the insanity going on to do something effective. I can use your lead to help me. How to conduct actions that are in alignment with the law, non violent and effective is what we need help on and how to implement. Your example is excellent.

    You and many other doctors are speaking up and this is what we need to see what we ourselves can do to ward off this insane takeover of humanity.

  3. I’ve agreed with this since the beginning of the whole nonsense I’ve been in the medical field and the dental field many years I’m very homeopathic mask would not stop a virus wearing gloves is not going to stop a virus it is a control thing I knew it from the beginning but I can’t even get my kids to believe me I’m 63 years old I don’t wear a mask I refuse to wear a mask I will not be told what to do after working all my hard years and paying my taxes I have contributed I deserve my rights and so does everyone else I cannot get onto your site to order the cards for some reason it’s being blocked you please send me the link so I can order these cards not only for myself but for my friends and neighbors that just will not believe that is all a sham

    1. See the follow up article on this site where I publish the email that Office Depot’s General Manager sent agreeing with my right to not mask and be treated courteously.

  4. Dr Rima. A similar incident happened to me last week in Aldi supermarket. My grocerieswere half way thru the registrar when the cashier went ballistic that I was not wearing a mask, she told me I was not allowed to be in the store without a mask and she ran to get the manager. I told the manager that I was exempt from the mask wearing and if he said anything negative to me I would report him to the DOj, he backed off but did say that the company had the right not to serve anyone not masking. ( my thought—- good luck with that). The ironic part of this story is that I had shopped there three or four times prior without the “muzzle” and nothing was said. It proves the actual agenda here doesn’t have anything to do with a virus.

    1. Did you calmly show them the Advance Sanitary Masking Directive card and note that they were violating the ADA provisions since you were not putting anyone at risk and that the law does not allow them to segregate or separate you? Stay calm, and record the entire interaction.
      Then write to the CEO of the organization putting him/her on notice that the staff at ADDRESS has, on DATE, just caused you undue and harmful distress by ….. and ask for a specific reply stating company policies under US law.
      Keep me posted!

  5. Dr. Laibow, thank you for supporting the law and the health security of US citizens! Wish I could contact you directly. I have tried to order the cards and could not. I attempted to email you. Earthlink determined that your email address was NOT A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS and would/could not send it.

    What am I do to? Makes your organization look “flaky” and a scam.

    1. “The Man” does everything it can to harass us and make us look as bad as it can.That is because we are quite good at revealing what they are doing.
      You can order the cards by completing your order at http://www.NSFMarketplace.com. You will receive an invoice by email and can pay that by 1. Paypal, 2. Credit card, 3. Check or money order made out to Natural Solutions and mailed to Natural Solutions, 3769 E. Calle Fernando Tucson AZ 85716.

  6. I just had a similar experience at Sprouts in Tempe, Arizona. I do all my shopping without a mask and I even have a medical note of exemption from wearing a mask. This is the second time employees at Sprouts have been somewhat aggressive with me. The previous time as I was paying for my items, I had a clerk tell me that I needed to wear a mask and when I explained that I had medical condition (without going into details), he said something to the effect that I couldn’t shop inside the store because they offered other options, such as the Instacart. Since I was already leaving, I asked him to tell me about this option. He didn’t have any flyers about it so I left. It’s far easier for me to shop and see what I need while in the store than try to figure out what to order from a third party, which doesn’t even list all of the items from the store! The Instacart is not the best option for me.

    The more recent time I went to shop at Sprouts, which left me very upset and angry, I lashed out. I’m so exhausted by all the nonsense over masks and the puritanical righteousness that often goes hand in hand with it. As is the usual protocol in so many stores, there were employees near the door, monitoring people as they enter. I entered the store and took a basket. As I walked toward the supplements, the clerk told me I had to wear a mask and had one in his hand. I told him I had a medical exemption and kept walking, then he insisted that I still had to wear a mask. I said I can prove it. The clerk wasn’t interested in my medical exemption. The employees at Sprouts are being told to get 100% compliance. As I was saying I had proof of a medical exemption, I think he also said, Sprouts offers other options – the Instacart. I explained that the Instacart did not have all the items the store carries, as I’d checked. I was only shopping for one item and the Instacart didn’t have it! I noticed the security guard (which Sprouts has never had before) jumped up into action, as if he were prepared for a fight. The clerk insisted that I had to wear a mask.

    I immediately dropped the basket I was carrying as I could see that the security guard (looking very eager to get physical) intended to aggress me. At this point, I couldn’t believe the rude, idiotic and forceful way I was being treated. I got very angry because that’s often how I react out of fear. It’s a protection defense mechanism I’ve developed over the years. I explained that I would shop at a competitor’s store (but that’s Whole Foods and they’re very expensive on a teacher’s salary). I was really angry and I said, “F— you,” and I left the store. Normally I don’t talk that way to people in stores, but my heart was racing and I could feel a physical sense of danger as adrenaline pumped through my body. That only happens when I feel threatened. I left the store and went to Whole Foods, after I’d called to make sure they wouldn’t keep me out for not having a mask. Whole Foods assured me that it would be okay to shop if I had a medical exemption. The employee waiting at the store entrance didn’t even ask me anything! Some stores are ridiculous about their control and total compliance and other stores are reasonable. Trader Joe’s is also reasonable, although every single time I shop there, I’m told I have to wear a mask. They always say “Okay,” when I say that I have a respiratory illness (which I shouldn’t have to say at all!)

    I’d like to know what to do when people are forceful about wearing a mask. Sprouts has lower prices than other stores and I needed a refrigerated probiotic, which I can’t order online.

    1. Did you calmly show them the Advance Sanitary Masking Directive card and note that they were violating the ADA provisions since you were not putting anyone at risk and that the law does not allow them to segregate or separate you? Stay calm, and record the entire interaction.
      Then write to the CEO of the organization putting him/her on notice that the staff at ADDRESS has, on DATE, just caused you undue and harmful distress by ….. and ask for a specific reply stating company policies under US law.
      Keep me posted!

      1. I don’t have the Advance Sanitary Masking Directive cards as they seem quite pricey for my budget. I believe the silver and gold cards are $15 a card. I am an elementary school teacher on a tight budget, so I don’t feel that I could afford these cards. I’m pretty good at advocating for myself. I explain that I have a medical exemption and most stores allow me to enter without a hassle. However, in the past week, I’ve had experiences of hassling at two grocery stores. At Asiana, they have a body temperature check, which I was happy to stand in front of. The clerk tried to tell me that I couldn’t enter the store without a mask and I explained that I shop at their store every week and never have to wear a mask asI have a medical exemption. The clerk asked me to talk to someone else (not even the manager).

        I had already explained on a previous visit to some employee in the store that I have a medical exemption, so I’m not sure why they asked me to wait to talk to another (presumably higher ranking) employee again. I said I wouldn’t talk to some other employee unless it was the manager. I continued to enter the store with my basket and the clerk who met me at the door, whisked the basket I was pushing away. I continued going to the meat department to select my items and she stayed right by my side. I kept explaining to her that I had the right to shop there without a mask and that I have a medical exemption and that not wearing a mask is allowed by the ADA, and that I was going to buy my groceries! The clerk followed me around the store, trying to block me, but I just said, “Oh you want to play basketball?” as I find this whole mask nonsense more than absurd. I got to the register and finally the manager showed up. I was tired when I entered the store and my stomach felt a little nauseous, so I wasn’t in the best mood, plus I had a sick kitty in the car returning from the vet’s office. It’s a 20 mile plus trip to the vet, so I didn’t want to drive my cat home and return to the grocery store. I needed groceries.

        I explained to the manager that I have a medical exemption and he wanted to see my proof. I told him I don’t have to show anything, but that I would show it, so I would stop being hassled. It took me a while to find it in my phone as it was sent in an email with a strange return address. I finally found it, then they tried to say that I needed to print it out! I said “No, I don’t.” I paid for my groceries and left the store.

        As I returned the cart to the curbside location, a different employee who had told me I had to wear a mask, started saying something to me about not being able to show proof of my mask exemption. He was basically trying to shame me and make fun of me. I told him he needed to watch himself and that I was going to contact a lawyer. At this point, I’m seeking legal counsel as I’m getting pretty damn fed of the BS going on. I’m wondering which kind of attorney to contact and I’d have to have a pro-bono case.

        I had another incident occur just yesterday 1/28/21 at H-Mart in Mesa. I had paid for some bakery items and was waiting to pick them up in the separate in-store bakery – Paris Baguette – and a clerk said loudly in front of other people, “You need to put your mask on.” I told her, “I have a medical exemption,” in an equally loud voice. She tried to say she was going to refuse service and I said, “It is illegal for you to ask me to wear a mask. I have a medical exemption.” Then I said, “I’m picking up items I already paid for.” She brought up my bag and I took it. Then I asked for her name. I surprised her and she refused to tell me her name. I told her I would call the manager. She knew her nonsense was going to cause trouble, which is why she refused to tell me her name. Then I told her, “You need to become informed about mask wearing,” and that she needed to “get over yourself”. By now I had gotten pretty loud and others were witnessing this event. “The clerk start laughing and some other customers joined her in laughing. I told them they needed to get over themselves as well and I walked out of the store with my items. I have tried to call the store manager twice now, and have left a message. The store manager is always “in a meeting”. So at this point, I will look into a regional manager and legal advice. I’m so done with clerks and other employees thinking they can bully people and refuse service.

        I have had 3 places refuse service to me and to each one, I’ve told them, “You can be fined by the ADA.” Although the ADA is not a place, I just want them to realize that some people are not going to back down when dealing with this utter nonsense.

        It seems that since the presidential election, people have been getting bolder, probably due to Biden’s claim that he will mandate mask wearing for 100 days. Still, a mandate is not a law. I believe it is just a strong recommendation. I’ve explained to the clerks who try to tell me I have to wear a mask, that it is NOT a law.

        1. While I fully empathize with your desire not to wear a mask, it would seem that your ability to advocate for yourself is not working out so well. You are not advocating properly by showing anyone anything since the ADA makes it illegal to ask you for medical information and by showing anyone anything under these circumstances, you are aiding and abetting them in breaking the law.
          Second, when this happens, you need to go on line to the ADA site and your state agency that protects the rights of the disabled and file reports with those agencies with as much specific information as possible.
          I also recommend writing a letter to the CEO of the company that has violated your rights explaining in specific detail what happened, who was involved, date, time, place, etc.. informing that Complaint No. XXXX has been filed with the Americans with Disabilities Agency and with your State agency.
          I would suggest you purchase an inexpensive body camera and record these interactions, including the videos in the filed reports.
          In terms of vaccines, you will need much better and stronger assertions than just your words.
          I am sorry that you feel the price of the research and supporting the Natural Solutions Foundation is more than you can afford. These cards support our work and we are grateful to be able to protect the health freedom rights of humanity.

  7. This article is not clear on exactly “how” to handle store employees when they says things like, “we have an alternative for you, so you need to use that” (which is how they get around the whole “discrimination according to Americans with Disabilities Act). For example, where I go pick up my mail, the clerk refuses to allow me in the store without a mask but he told me that I have to wait outside and he will help me if I am not wearing a mask. Another example is the airline industry: these airlines have made it VERY CLEAR that if you choose not to wear a mask, they can revoke your future travel privileges. I guess we all need to get more involved with sending letters to the legal departments of these stores and corporations.

    1. Did you calmly show them the Advance Sanitary Masking Directive card and note that they were violating the ADA provisions since you were not putting anyone at risk and that the law does not allow them to segregate or separate you? Stay calm, and record the entire interaction.
      Then write to the CEO of the organization putting him/her on notice that the staff at ADDRESS has, on DATE, just caused you undue and harmful distress by ….. and ask for a specific reply stating company policies under US law.
      Keep me posted!

  8. Great article! I have a question. I am employed with the state agency and all employees were emailed to wear the masks when we come in the building. Am I able to use these cards and show my supervisor and those in upper management if I come into any issues?

    1. I am not an attorney but my understanding of the law is that you can do exactly that. I recommend a body cam to document exactly what happens when you assert your rights.
      Please see the article on this site that I published today on being refused admission to Sprouts and how I am proceeding. But you should read Counsel Ralph’s article on the site about the ADA.
      And be prepared to stand your ground.

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