Before Election Day the American Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Washington State Nurses Association, and the United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals sued U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for delaying making rules on occupational standards to protect healthcare and frontline workers from diseases transmitted by contact, droplets or air. These include influenza, Ebola and COVID-19. AFT President Randi Weingarten said that it’s another example of the Trump administration standing in the way of labor rights.
“OSHA has failed to regulate employers, which in turn have failed to protect the people caring for COVID-19 patients,” said Weingarten in a statement. “As a result, healthcare worker infection rates remain troublingly high. This immoral treatment of the healthcare heroes carrying us through this crisis must end, and both OSHA and employers must be held accountable to make hospitals safe for the people who work there.”