What do you do if your employer refuses to take precautions for the COVID-19 virus? Mike Jackson chose to continue working for his employer, Briggs & Stratton, in Wisconsin. In April and May, Briggs & Stratton was not requiring face masks. Workers were working face-to-face on the assembly line. Managers rarely wore masks. The company started to require face masks only in late July when masks became a state requirement.
Mr. Jackson had four young children to support. He could not afford to miss work due to illness. He believed he would be fired if he called in sick. So, he worked until he collapsed at work. He was sent home. Two days later, he was back at work. He collapsed at work and was sent to the hospital. He then tested positive for the coronavirus. He died ten days later. See CBS news report.
In mid-April, most of the workers walked off the job to protest the lack of safety precautions. But, that brought no changes. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. john Cornyn want to pass a law protecting employers from coronavirus liability. As I have mentioned before, it would be very difficult to show a worker contracted the virus at work. Sen. McConnell’s fears of an avalanche of lawsuits lack basis. The senators are seeking a provision that would protect employers who make a good faith effort to follow state and local health guidelines.