OSHA's Next 50 Years: Legislating a Private Right of Action to Empower Workers
The nation's workplaces are not nearly as safe or healthy as they need to be to protect all workers, and workers lack the power they deserve to speak up against exploitation without fear of significant retaliation. Fixing the current system requires an updated and vastly improved labor law that empowers workers to speak up about health and safety hazards, rather than risk their lives out of fear of losing employment and pay. It also requires that workers be empowered to fight back when government agencies fail to enforce safety and health requirements. The authors propose guaranteeing all workers a private right of action to enforce violations of the law, coupled with incentives for speaking up and strong whistleblower protections.
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Author(s): Michael C. Duff, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro, Rena Steinzor, Katie Tracy
Joint letter opposing federal liability shield during COVID-19
In July 2020, a group of 136 law professors from across the United States, including 31 Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) Member Scholars, wrote to congressional leaders urging them to “ensure that our courthouse doors remain open to all Americans for injuries they suffer from negligence during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As COVID-19 Rages, New Report Explores How to Better Protect Workers During Pandemics
Even as COVID-19 continues to rage across the United States, governments and industries are "reopening" the American economy. As a new report from the Center for Progressive Reform shows, in the absence of sufficient safeguards, this puts workers and the general public at heightened risk of contracting the deadly virus.
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Protecting Workers in a Pandemic: What the Federal Government Should Be Doing
The "re-opening" of the American economy while the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating puts workers at heightened risk of contracting the deadly virus. In some blue-collar industries, the risk is particularly acute because of the inherent nature of the work itself and of the workplaces in which it is conducted. And the risk, for a variety of reasons, falls disproportionately on people of color and low-income workers. With governors stay-at-home orders and other pandemic safety restrictions, CPR Member Scholars Thomas McGarity, Michael Duff, and Sidney Shapiro examine the federal government's many missed opportunities to stem the spread of the virus in the nation's workplaces, and make recommendations for what needs to happen next to protect employees on the job.
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Author(s): Thomas McGarity, Michael C. Duff, Sidney Shapiro
Environmental Injustice & Impacts of COVID-19 on the Delmarva Peninsula
Read a fact sheet from CPR, Fair Farms, Sentinels of Eastern Shore Health, and the Sussex Health and Environmental Network prepared for a hearing of the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee. The hearing focused on the environmental justice impacts of COVID-19 on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Author(s): Katlyn Schmitt
Webinar: Protecting Our Communities Through Sustainable Agriculture
Over the past two decades, Delmarva agriculture has shifted from traditional, diversified family farming to a more industrialized system of raising animals. Large, powerful companies dictate how animals are raised, processed, and sold and bear no responsibility for the public health impacts and environmental degradation in our local communities. The disastrous consequences have been highlighted, and in some cases exacerbated, by the current COVID-19 crisis. During a May 26, 2020, virtual town hall, regional experts and local community members shared the latest science, regulatory and policy actions, community perspectives, and possible solutions. The town hall was presented free with support from the Town Creek Foundation.
Author(s): Darya Minovi
The Trump Administration’s Pandemic Response is Structured to Fail
Writing for the Regulatory Review, CPR Member Scholars Alejandro Camacho and Robert Glicksman describe the structural failings of the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Author(s): Alejandro Camacho, Robert Glicksman
Remarks of Katie Tracy at OSHA Whistleblower Stakeholder Meeting
Katie Tracy’s testimony to OSHA, delivered virtually, during a Whistleblower Stakeholder Meeting, recommending several improvements the agency should make to its Whistleblower Protection Program.
Author(s): Katie Tracy
Letter to Congressional Leaders Opposing Coronavirus Liability Shield
Responding to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's threat to attach to a future stimulus bill a liability shield for companies that fail to protect workers or consumers from the coronavirus, CPR Member Scholars and staff wrote to congressional leaders urging that they not interfere with the ability of workers, consumers, and members of their families to hold businesses accountable when their unreasonably dangerous actions have caused them to contract COVID-19.
Author(s): James Goodwin
Beware efforts absolving companies of COVID-19 liability
Writing in the Waco Tribune, Thomas McGarity warns that Sen. Mitch McConnell's effort to extend a federal COVID-19 liability shield over businesses will endanger workers' lives. Such immunity from accountability would allow employers to force workers to choose between losing their jobs or returning to workplaces where they are not sufficiently protected from the coronavirus.
Author(s): Thomas McGarity