WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) works to roll back worker protections. Leader McConnell has said he refuses to move on much-needed coronavirus relief without language that would shield bad actors from legal liability when they put workers’ health and safety at risk. Brown is fighting for stronger worker protections and standing up for workers in Ohio who are putting their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brown is set to introduce legislation with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), The Emergency Limitation Periods Extensions for Workers Act, that would protect workers’ rights by extending the amount of time workers have to take action against companies that are violating labor and employment laws. Brown’s bill will help ensure frontline workers whose rights have been violated aren’t unfairly punished because of timing obstacles created by coronavirus.
“Mitch McConnell has it backwards – workers and consumers need protections from corporations, not the other way around. And that’s even more true during this pandemic, when millions of Americans are risking their health and safety to go to work. We’ve heard disturbing, widespread reports of unsafe workplaces leading to preventable illnesses and deaths. We should be making it easier – not harder – to hold corporations accountable to keep workers safe,” said Brown.
Brown was joined on today’s call by Peter McLinden, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, who will speak about the importance of protecting the health and safety of workers, especially during the current pandemic.
“Extending timelines for workers to file actions is the perfect trifecta for the American economy: its enhances workers' rights and protections, raises companies' level of accountability and responsibility, and helps to keep consumers and workers both healthy and safe. To save America's future and protect our workforce, it's time for Senator McConnell and Labor Secretary Scalia to step up and lead, or step aside and let others lead,” said McLinden.
Brown has also introduced legislation to protect U.S. workers from COVID-19 in response to disturbing, widespread reports of unsafe workplaces leading to preventable illnesses and deaths.
Brown’s COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard that establishes a legal obligation for all workplaces to implement comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plans to keep workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brown’s bill was included in the most recent stimulus package passed by the House last week. Brown is now calling on Leader McConnell to bring the House package to the floor for a full vote by the Senate.