As reported by the Washington Post, there have been widespread outbreaks of the Coronavirus in meatpacking plants that resulted in the deaths of at least 17 workers and at least 3,000 employees getting sick. In response, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have posted joint guidance for the packing industry in an effort to protect these essential workers.
A link to the joint guidance can be found here.
The guidance encourages factories to use physical barriers to create at least six feet between employees, who typically stand shoulder to shoulder in the plants. It also calls for use of personal protective equipment, access to sanitizer/soap, reconfiguration of locker rooms and break rooms, and changes to attendance policies so employees aren’t penalized for taking sick leave if they have the coronavirus.
The guidance also stresses that it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for raising concerns about safety and health conditions.
If you face retaliation from your employer because you have raised workplace safety concerns, contact the Higgins Law Firm to learn about your rights.