Seyfarth Synopsis: Cal/OSHA announced that it has cited eleven employers for not protecting employees from COVID-19 exposure during inspections of industries where workers have an elevated risk of exposure. The industries include food processing, meatpacking, health care, agriculture and retail. The employers were cited for various violations including some classified as serious, with proposed penalties ranging from $2,025 to $51,190.

Cal/OSHA’s Chief Doug Parker said in the announcement that “we have identified these industries as priorities in our strategic enforcement efforts to make sure employers have adequate COVID-19 infection prevention procedures in place.” “These are industries where workers have been disproportionately affected, and these citations are the first of many to be issued in the coming weeks and months.” Emphasis added.

The notice indicates that “the inspections were opened after notification of serious illnesses, complaints of workplace hazards and after proactive joint enforcement efforts.”