Workers presently have no right to bring a lawsuit against employers under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) or equivalent state laws when employers fail to provide safe and healthy working conditions. This gap in the law has been especially troubling during the COVID-19 pandemic, as workers across the United States have faced a massive workplace health crisis without any meaningful support from OSHA or most states or territories.
Even with an incoming OSHA that is more supportive of workers’ rights and expected to better enforce standards, providing workers a “private right of action” will bolster the agency’s activities. Workers in states and territories that operate their own occupational safety and health programs will also benefit from having authority to seek recourse in court, especially if their state program is unwilling or unable to do its job.
In this webinar, attendees heard from attorneys who support legislative measures to empower workers by providing them a “private right of action” to enforce the law.