Workplace Coronavirus Complaints Surge in North Carolina
Workers in North Carolina are advocating for a statewide COVID-19 workplace mandate.
- By Nikki Johnson-Bolden
- Feb 11, 2021
North Carolina is still without a state law that mandates workplace COVID-19 safety measures after 8,000 work-related cases, according to ABC 11.
It is reported that more than half of those 8,000 cases were from meat and poultry processing facilities. The North Carolina Department of Labor reported 26 total coronavirus-related workplace deaths in 2020. The agency has received over 1,6000 complaints from workers concerning COVID-19.
"It's extremely discouraging to see that we haven't made a lot of progress in the last year and workers are still facing these serious health and safety issues in their workplace," said Carol Brooke, a member of the North Carolina Justice Center.
Workers in the state are optimistic that President Biden’s instruction for OSHA to consider enacting an emergency standard will help mitigate the effects of the virus in North Carolina workplaces. In the meantime, Brooke says that a state rule would “make an enormous difference for workers.” The North Carolina Labor Department still has 151 remaining unaddressed complaints from workers.
Nikki Johnson-Bolden is an Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.