News Digest 7-29-2020


Flash: Judge Denies Injunction Against Amazon S.F.

An employee sues the online giant over conditions at its San Francisco grocery warehouse related to COVID-19. Here’s why the judge says a restraining order is not warranted. Cal-OSHA Reporter


MIOSHA steps up random inspections of restaurants, grocery stores

Fed-OSHA data indicates Michigan OSHA has received hundreds of complaints about local businesses including restaurants during the pandemic. Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the state, MIOSHA says it will be making “inspections by referral or randomly at bars and restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores, grocery stores, and other retail establishments.” Eater Detroit


Construction worker’s death at Missouri hotel site spurs $19K in penalties

Fed-OSHA has issued two serious citations and nearly $19,000 in fines in connection with the death of a construction worker at a hotel construction site in Jefferson City, Missouri in January. The 31-year-old man was trapped underneath a large concrete block retaining wall that fell, and died as a result of his injuries. Fed-OSHA charges that the agency failed to protect employees from struck-by and crushed-by hazards. News Tribune


Texas officials warn of fake PPE

U.S. Attorneys in Texas and the state attorney general are warning consumers about scams, price-gouging, and mislabeled products as they seek to replenish their stock of personal protective equipment during the pandemic. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas says several complaints related to PPE fraud are currently under investigation. mySA


North Carolina regulators find no violations at meatpacking plants during pandemic

Although state and federal regulators have received dozens of calls and emails from meatpacking plant employees across North Carolina during the pandemic, the state Department of Labor has found no safety violations at any of the plants and issued no citations or penalties. The department has received 75 complaints and referrals related to COVID-19 and the meatpacking industry through July 15, but none have prompted a site visit, according to the agency. Charlotte Observer


Can employers require employees to take vaccine?

Many employers are asking whether they will be able to require employees to take the vaccine for COVID-19 when it becomes available in the United States, write attorneys Lindsay L. Ryan and LaToya Alexander of Polsinelli PC. Fed-OSHA has taken the position that employers can require employees to take influenza vaccines but emphasizes employees need to be properly informed of the benefits of vaccinations. National Law Review