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Workers Need Federal Protection From COVID-19 Risks

Law360 published an article by Peter Whelan and Elizabeth Paukstis, “Workers Need Federal Protection from COVID-19 Risks” (April 29, 2020). They discuss the lack of remedies for employees who are concerned about having to work, or return to work, at a time when their personal health and safety remain at risk. The article discusses several recent lawsuits, including those by the union representing bus drivers in Miami-Dade County and by the New York State Nurses Association, both of which are struggling to protect their members and the general public. The article concludes that a new federal law is needed to provide a private right of action to sue employers who violate their rights in the workplace, given the ineffectiveness of the OSHA process, and the unwillingness of the Department of Labor to require employers to follow the COVID-19 guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).