As California became the national epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the final weeks of 2020, state officials adopted sweeping emergency measures meant to protect workers.
Low-wage workers facing recurring outbreaks on the job say little has changed in the two months since the measures took effect. Union leaders fault the painfully slow rollout to long-standing failures at California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, which oversees worker safety.
Business groups — pushing back against the idea that workplaces are fueling the spread of COVID-19 — are seeking to reverse the measures, which require detailed protocols for masks, social distancing, virus testing and ventilation.
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