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Mankato Menards employee reportedly slapped by customer over mask rules

The assault is one of many being reported across the country.

A slapping incident in southern Minnesota is the latest in a series of  nationwide attacks on retail workers over controversial mask-wearing policies.

This one took place at a Menards in Mankato, and features all the hallmarks of similar stories you've probably heard about: a store employee stops a customer because they're not wearing a mask, and the customer unleashes their frustration (in the form of physical violence) on said employee.

Indeed, as the Mankato Free Press reports, the Menards worker was slapped in the face by a maskless female customer after asking her to leave. 

The paper notes the assault took place last weekend but was not reported to police until Wednesday.

According to Southern Minnesota News, investigators were able to identify the woman in surveillance footage, but have yet to make contact with her. 

Like many store chains, Menards requires all employees and customers to wear masks due to the coronavirus. 

Aggression against retail workers has been one of many side effects of the pandemic, with verbal and physical assaults being reported across the country.

This week, a tirade against a Costco employee enforcing his store's mask rules went viral, while a California sporting goods store employee launched a Facebook support group for abused retail workers after she was slapped so hard she was left bleeding from her face. 

The phenomenon has been documented by the New York Times, which notes numerous other attacks on retail staff. 

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