Support H.R. 6559 - The COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act!
I would like to remind you of a saying from Mother Jones, the great American schoolteacher, community and labor organizer, "Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living."
As a constituent, I urge you to support H.R. 6559 – The COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act and fight for its swift passage and enactment.
Every day, but especially on April 28th – Workers’ Memorial Day – we remember those workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.
In the spirit of both Workers' Memorial Day and Mother Jones, H.R. 6559 calls on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement an emergency standard related to infection control. These commonsense health and safety standards will reduce workers' risk of exposure to COVID-19 and create safer working environments. While these standards have long been advocated for, their immediate enactment is critical to help protect frontline and essential workers against the heightened risks they are facing every day due to the pandemic.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, there have been disturbing, widespread reports of unsafe workplaces that have resulted in preventable illnesses and deaths. Infections in the workplace are widespread and have been reported and confirmed in occupations varying from health care workers to those employed in the meat processing industry.
In response to this, H.R. 6559 would require OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard, within seven days, to cover all workers and establish a legal obligation for all workplaces to implement infectious disease exposure control plans to keep workers safe during a pandemic. This legislation would also: require OSHA to issue a permanent comprehensive infectious disease standard within twenty-four months; forbid employers from retaliating against workers who report issues with infection control measures implemented by the employer; forbid employers from retaliating against those workers who use their own, more effective, personal protective equipment than those provided by the employer; expand protections to public employees in twenty-four states who are not already covered by OSHA standards; and require the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to track and investigate work-related to COVID-19 infections and make recommendations on needed actions or guidance to protect workers.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I respectfully ask that you bring up this issue with your leadership. I look forward to a reply to my letter.
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