Appeals court rejects AFL-CIO lawsuit over lack of COVID-19 labor protections

A federal appeals court on Thursday June 11 rejected the AFL-CIO’s emergency lawsuit against the Trump administration for failing to enact stronger labor protections amid the coronavirus crisis.

A three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a two-page order saying that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the authority to decide whether to issue new rules during the pandemic.

“In light of the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the regulatory tools that the OSHA has at its disposal to ensure that employers are maintaining hazard-free work environments … the OSHA reasonably determined that an ETS [emergency temporary standard] is not necessary at this time,” the panel said in its order.

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