Scott Supports Virginia Measure to Protect Workers from COVID-19

June 23, 2020
Press Release
Virginia’s initiative comes amidst total inaction from Trump Administration’s OSHA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, sent a letter to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry to express support for the Department’s proposed Emergency Temporary Standard to protect workers in Virginia from COVID-19. Virginians have already experienced over 58,000 infections and over 1,600 deaths from COVID-19.

“I fully and enthusiastically support the Department’s issuance of these important protections for Virginia’s working people,” wrote the Congressman. “Given the significant risk that workers exposed to COVID-19 face and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) stubborn failure to develop an enforceable standard, it is vitally important that OSHA state plan states such as Virginia exercise their authority under the law to issue an enforceable standard to protect the states’ workers.”

In January and in March, Congressman Scott joined Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, in calling on OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard to protect workers from COVID-19. OSHA has yet to issue any enforceable standard to keep workers safe from infection.

“On Friday, May 15, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act, which included the COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act which I introduced along with Congresswomen Adams and Donna Shalala (FL-27),” the Congressman continued. “That bill directs OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard within seven days to protect workers in hospitals, meatpacking plants, retail stores, restaurants, offices, shipyards, and any other workplace where a person may face risk from exposure to the novel coronavirus…Unfortunately, that legislation is languishing in the U.S. Senate.  Virginia’s workers should not have to wait for the U.S. Senate or federal OSHA to decide whether they will even consider further action.  Fortunately, Virginia has its own state plan and can act under its own authority to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard.”

Full text of the letter can be found HERE.

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