With states reopening for business and millions of people heading back to work, the nation's largest labor organization is demanding the federal government do more to protect workers from contracting the coronavirus on the job. What's happening: The AFL-CIO, a collection of 55 unions representing 12.5 million workers, says it is suing the federal agency in charge of workplace safety to compel them to create a set of emergency temporary standards for infectious diseases. Driving the news: The lawsuit against the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to be filed on Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. Citing an urgent threat to "essential" workers and those being called back to work as government-imposed lockdowns are lifted, the AFL-CIO is asking the court to force OSHA to act within 30 days. It wants a rule that would require each employer to evaluate its workplace for the risk of airborne disease transmission and to develop a comprehensive infection control plan that could include social distancing measures, masks and other personal protective equipment and employee training.
Axios, May 18, 2020, by Joann Muller