By: Derek Demeri
On: May 28, 2020
What Types of Workers are Protesting Working Conditions During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Many of society’s essential workers are feeling the strain of the pandemic in their work. Although large retailers and essential services are requiring their workers to show up to work, many of their employees feel that they are not adequately working to protect their workers from Covid-19. Here are some of the types of workers protesting working conditions during the pandemic:
- Retail and Online Retail: Large retail employers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have been under particular scrutiny, as they have continued operations throughout the crisis with multiple employees stepping forward to protest work conditions.
- Restaurant and Food Service: Food service staff, as well as delivery drivers, have been sent to work for takeout and catering orders. Some workers have complained that their establishments have not taken precautions to ensure food is prepared safely.
- First Responders and Hospital Staff: First responders have been largely on the front lines for the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular hospital staff. Many doctors and nurses that have stepped forward to complain about their working conditions have been fired from their jobs.
- Postal Workers and Delivery Carriers: Even in times of crisis, our mail and delivery systems continue to function. However, many delivery workers have felt that the conditions of their employment have been needlessly exposing them to the risk of Covid-19.
Workers who speak up about conditions in the workplace are protected by law. Contact Philadelphia-based whistleblower attorneys at Zeff Law Firm to learn more.
What Type of Safety Concerns are Workers Expressing During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
There are a few safety concerns that workers are noticing around their workplace, and it may be appropriate for employees to contact a Covid-19 whistleblower lawyer. Below are some of the main safety concerns that employees should be on the lookout for:
- Lack of Proper Protective Equipment: For many employees, their primary safety concern is the lack of proper protective equipment. Despite their status as essential workers, they are not adequately supplied with masks, sanitation equipment, gloves, or proper testing. In addition, many businesses have had issues with patrons refusing to wear protective masks, potentially endangering employees further.
- Whistleblowing: Many workers have also been protesting the stifling of complaints by employers regarding their response to the pandemic.
- Lack of Sick Leave: Many employers have made no changes to their corporate sick-leave policies in response to Covid-19, forcing employees to choose between losing their jobs and showing up for work sick. Amazon and Whole Foods workers have been particularly vocal in complaints regarding their company’s policies.
Should Employees Report Coronavirus Safety Concerns to OSHA?
Employees who have concerns about their safety during the Covid-19 pandemic should generally report those concerns. If an employer is violating the safety of its employees by not adhering to approved methods of preventing the spread of Covid-19, then those concerns should be brought before OSHA and other appropriate agencies. Most employers are prohibited from retaliating against any employee that blows the whistle on any particular issue. The coronavirus whistleblower attorneys at Zeff Law Firm can answer your questions.
Which Essential Workers Qualify for Hazard Pay During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Hazard pay can be a complicated issue. Although many workers during this pandemic have been classified as essential, their paychecks do not reflect that. However, although delivery and retail workers may find themselves on the frontline in the Covid-19 pandemic, they likely will not receive any sort of hazard pay. Unless otherwise stipulated in your employment contract or offered as some sort of incentive for a particular job, there are no legal requirements for an employer to provide hazard pay for these workers. For the most part, unless you are an emergency worker who was already qualified for hazard pay, you are likely not going to see any. Contact Philadelphia-area whistleblower attorneys at Zeff Law Firm to discuss the specifics of your situation.
Do Workers Fear Retaliation for Making a Complaint During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Unfortunately, many workers have found that their employers are willing to retaliate against them for speaking out on coronavirus concerns. For instance, Amazon recently fired multiple employees for protesting warehouse working conditions, and hospitals across the nation have terminated staff for making complaints as well. Although workers are protected in whistleblowing workplace violations, many employers have still fired their workers for violating their internal policies. Contact Covid-19 whistleblower attorneys at Zeff Law Firm if you believe your rights have been violated at work.
What Should you do if you have a Whistleblower Complaint During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
If you have concerns about your workplace’s response to COVID-19 or the protections they offer, remember that you have the right to raise those concerns with your employer. Therefore, the first step is to inform your employer of your concerns. If you believe that raising that concern has resulted in adverse actions against your employment, you also have the right to file a whistleblower complaint with OSHA. You should also then consult with an employment attorney and discuss your options in protecting your rights. Contact the experienced Philadelphia whistleblower lawyers at the Zeff Law Firm to discuss the specific details of your case.