Questions about COVID-19 and our return to the workplace still remain unanswered for many employees. Cramer Law will ask some of these questions and provide answers according to current laws and regulations.
Please review this series of blogs posts designed to help employers and employees know what their rights are. Please contact us at Cramer Law if you feel your rights have been violated or if you need further information about any of these issues.
Reporting Unsafe Conditions
Occupational Health and Safety Act
What do I do if an employee candidate reports unsafe conditions as it relates to COVID-19?
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has received thousands of such complaints. The agency has warned companies that it is illegal to retaliate against workers because the report unsafe and unhealthful working conditions during the coronavirus.
What is my duty as an employer to keep things safe?
The OSH Act states that employers must provide employees a workplace “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to [the employer’s] employees.” 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1). OSHA has regulations specific to health concerns related to COVID-19. For example,
- 29 C.F.R. § 1910, Subpart I, OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment standards requires the use of gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection by employees in particular industries; and
- 29 C.F.R. § 1920.134, OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard provides that when respirators are necessary to protect workers, employers must implement a comprehensive respiratory program.
An adverse employment action taken by an employer in response to an employee’s reasonable, good-faith complaint that the employer has violated any of the provisions discussed above, or any other relevant provision of the OSH Act, could be grounds for a retaliation claim under the Act.
For more information from OSHA about assisting recommendations to assist employers in prepping workplaces for COVID-19, visit https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf.