COVID-19 Lawsuits Begin
While many people have been able to work from home amid the coronavirus shutdowns, employees in industries that have been deemed essential have continued to go to work.
In doing so, these employees have been exposed to COVID-19 and in some cases have passed away. As a result, employees at various companies are now starting to take legal action against their employers.
On Tuesday, a group of McDonald's employees in Chicago filed a class action lawsuit against the company, alleging McDonald's failed to adopt government safety guidelines for the coronavirus, therefore endangering themselves and their families.
According to the lawsuit, McDonald's did not provide adequate hand sanitizer, gloves and masks or notify employees when another employee became infected with the coronavirus. The employees are seeking an injunction that will make McDonald's stop requiring employees to reuse masks, require face coverings for customers and require McDonald's to notify employees if a coworker contracts the coronavirus.
McDonald's pushed back on the claims, saying they are inaccurate.
"Crew and managers are the heart and soul of the restaurants in which they work, and their safety and well-being is a top priority that guides our decision making," McDonald's said in a statement. "These include wellness checks, protective barriers, adhering to social distancing guidelines for customers and crew, using gloves and masks, increasing the frequency of hand washing and moving to contactless operations."
In California, McDonald's employees filed administrative actions with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health alleging unsafe work conditions.
The lawsuit against McDonald's is just the latest in a recent string of lawsuits filed against corporations as a result of the coronavirus.
The family of a Walmart employee filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company last month, alleging he told store managers he had symptoms of the coronavirus and was ignored.
As instances of people passing away as a result of contracting the coronavirus while at work become more common, it's likely these lawsuits may just be the beginning of more to come.
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