The coronavirus pandemic poses serious risks to workers still on the job, and too often management moves slowly and does too little to protect essential workers like grocers, UPS drivers, nurses and Amazon warehouse workers. . To defend themselves, their colleagues and their communities, workers have organized collectively to demand hazard pay, social distancing measures and personal protective equipment like hand sanitizer and masks.
Below is a list of requests for COVID-19 workplace safety measures and leave policies that workers can adapt for a group petition in their workplace. It was set up by organizers from the Communications Workers, who created a helpful website aimed specifically at helping non-union workers organize in response to the coronavirus, “COVID-19 Information for Nonunion Workers.” Non-union workers looking for advice can contact CWA organizers via a form on this website, which also includes a useful overview of the right of workers to act as a group (known as “protected consultation”) to improve working conditions.
Download an editable version of the claims below here, or as a PDF here.–Ed.
WE DEMAND IMMEDIATE SAFETY MEASURES AND LEAVE POLICIES IN THE WORKPLACE AGAINST COVID-19
We feel in danger. We have urgent and shared concerns that the current COVID safety protocols in our workplace are not enough. We call for immediate action to address both security and leave policies, including the following (check those that apply):
- Perform routine environmental cleaning and disinfection. Regularly clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, telephones, doorknobs, etc.
- Provision of necessary occupational safety and health supplies (circle those that apply):
- Sanitary facilities for hand washing
- Disposable hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): face shields, gloves, goggles, shoe covers, gowns, head coverings, masks, respirators, others as indicated ___________________.
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home and not return to work until CDC criteria for ending home isolation are met.
- Make arrangements for employees most at risk of serious illness, such as the elderly or those with chronic illnesses. Minimize face-to-face contact between high-risk employees or assign work tasks that allow them to maintain a six-foot distance from other workers, customers and visitors, or telecommute if possible.
- Inform employees of our possible exposure to COVID-19 if a colleague is confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act).
- Educate employees on how they can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by taking social distancing measures and avoiding using other employees’ phones, desks, desks, or other work tools and equipment , when possible.
- Organize the workplace so employees can practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and maintaining a distance (about 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. Increase physical space between employees and customers (e.g., working from home, spaced entrance to business, drive-thru, partitions).
- Identify a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their impact on the workplace and who can work to keep employees safe.
- Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices. Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and in line with public health guidelines and that employees know and understand these policies.
- Support employees and workplace safety by providing paid time off that appropriately incentivizes sick or exposed employees to stay home.
- Maintain flexible policies that allow employees to stay home to care for an ill or immunocompromised family member or to care for children due to school and daycare closures. Use non-punitive emergency sick leave policies.
- Do not require a positive COVID-19 test result or a health care provider note for sick employees to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or to return to work. Health care providers’ offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and may not be able to provide these documents in a timely manner.
- Support respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene for employees, customers and visitors.
- Provide tissues and non-contact disposal containers near handwashing locations.
- Provide soap and water in the workplace. If soap and water aren’t readily available, get an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Make sure adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand sanitizers in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene. Place signs that encourage hand washing and discourage handshakes.
- Perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection after people confirmed or suspected (since confirmation is not always possible) of having COVID-19 have been in the facility.
- Minimize travel.
- Encourage sick employees to stay home with paid time off.
- Accommodate employees with family responsibilities (homeschooled children, family member with COVID) with paid time off and educate workers on FMLA and other benefits.
- Provide hazard pay to essential employees. (The hazard pay provisions the workers have won range from a 10% raise to a $2 per hour bonus to a $300 per week bonus.)
- Implement necessary additional measures such as _________________________.