July 5, 2020

Volume X, Number 187

July 03, 2020

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AFL-CIO Sues OSHA To Compel Workplace Safety Plans in Light of COVID-19

Yesterday, the AFL-CIO filed an emergency petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to compel the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard for Infectious Diseases aimed at protecting the life and health of millions of workers throughout the United States in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. AFL-CIO purportedly is not asking the court to compel OSHA “to adopt a one-size-fits-all regulatory response” but rather is seeking a mandatory requirement for each employer to adopt a comprehensive infection control plan.  

According to Bloomberg Law, “Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia has defended OSHA’s handling of the issue by saying the agency can bring enforcement actions under the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s ‘general duty’ clause, which requires employers to maintain a hazard-free workplace.”  

The court ordered OSHA to reply to the AFL-CIO’s motion by May 29, and gave the AFL-CIO until June 2 to file a response.

© 2020 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 140


About this Author

Taylor Hunter, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Indianapolis, Labor and Employment Attorney
Staff Attorney

Taylor L. Hunter is a staff attorney and member of the Labor and Employment Law Department in Barnes & Thornburg’s Indianapolis office. Ms. Hunter focuses her practice in the area of education law with an emphasis on employment and student disability matters.

Before joining Barnes & Thornburg as a staff attorney, Ms. Hunter gained experience as an associate with an Indianapolis-based law firm where she assisted in the areas of family law, traffic issues, small claims, criminal law and litigation.