In this webinar, we’ll discuss the need to provide workers the right to sue employers for dangerous working conditions. You’ll hear from attorneys who support legislative measures to empower workers by providing them a “private right of action” to enforce the Occupational Safety and Health Act and equivalent state laws.
CPR’s report, “OSHA’s Next 50 Years: Legislating a Private Right of Action,” calls on Congress and the White House to enact legislation creating a private right of action under the OSH Act. You’ll also hear about efforts to enact a “Private Attorney General Act” in Oregon, including provisions creating a private right of action to enforce OSH violations.
Workers presently have no right to bring a lawsuit against employers under the federal OSH Act or equivalent state laws. This gap in the law has been especially troubling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even with an incoming OSHA that is supportive of workers’ rights and expected to enforce standards, providing workers the right to sue will bolster the agency’s activities. Workers in states and territories that operate their own occupational safety and health programs will also benefit from having access to court.
Kate Suisman is an attorney and the Campaigns Coordinator for the Northwest Worker Justice Project. She handles employment and civil rights cases and coordinates their worker safety coalition, Safe Jobs Oregon, an affiliate of National COSH. Sulma Guzmán is an attorney at Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., where she advocates for workers’ rights at the federal and state level. Tom McGarity is a professor of law at University of Texas in Austin. Sid Shapiro is a professor at the Wake Forest University School of Law. Tom and Sid are CPR Board members and both have extensive experience in occupational safety and health law. CPR Senior Policy Analyst Katie Tracy will moderate the discussion.
Even if you cannot attend, please register and we’ll send you a recording.