AFT, other unions sue OSHA, Department of Labor

The American Federation of Teachers is among the unions that filed a lawsuit Oct. 29 against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Labor and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia.

In the suit, the AFT and its fellow plaintiffs are asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to require OSHA “to cease its unlawful delay in issuing an Infectious Diseases Standard” in order to protect health care workers.

“In times of national crisis, the government’s job is to protect people — and in the case of protecting workers on the front line of this pandemic, the federal government has failed,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Doctors, nurses, respiratory techs and other health care professionals have been treating COVID-19 patients for the better part of a year without basic workplace protections, including adequate PPE, robust testing and, most importantly, an Infectious Diseases Standard that would require employers to establish a comprehensive infection control program to protect frontline workers who are facing daily exposure.”