OWCP Guidance for Covid-19 Protocol for Agencies with High Exposure

This guidance does not address specific case facts nor is it intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. This guidance does not create an attorney-client relationship nor is it an agreement to act as a representative in any case. Controlling law is subject to interpretation and/or change and should be reviewed carefully before taking any action, as AFGE is not responsible for errors or omissions in this guidance or any accompanying materials. This guidance is general in nature and has been prepared solely in order to assist AFGE members and officers with respect to COVID outbreaks in the workplace.  

Due to the high volume of Covid-19 exposure in several government agencies, we have compiled a list of actions to be taken in the event of a Covid-19 exposure on the worksite. Please refer to the list below:  

  1. File an OSHA complaint at the Federal level. It can be done anonymously.  https://www.osha.gov/contactus/bystate 
  2. File a CDC complaint with a request for a CDC team inspection.  https://www.cdc.gov/contact/index.htm     Or call 800-232-4636 advise them of the confirmed case at your location. Get their name, title, and what action they will be taking.
  3. Call the governor’s office and inform them of the agency’s negligence. Request their office get involved, explaining the potential spread of COVID-19 is running high in the community. https://www.usa.gov/state-governor
  4. Notify your Council and NVP/NR 
  5. Set up a conference call with all the affected employees. The call would advise the employees on how to proceed with their Workers Compensation Cases and safety. Loop in your NR. 
  6. Demand the Agency begin contract tracing, and notify exposed employees, vendors, contractor, and members of the public. 
  7. Demand to bargain, as a COVID-19 outbreak has a substantial impact on conditions of employment.  Bargaining guidance may be found here.
  8. Call congressional representatives and the senators in your state to inform them of the failure the agency has made in containing the virus. https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
  9. Pressure the facility to provide sufficient PPE at the facility. Guidance may be found here
  10. Engage in best practices as a potential whistleblower, including following guidance and enlisting assistance from AFGE General Counsel, (202) 639-6415. 
  11. Rally for community support.  Guidance may be found here
  12. Everyone who is exposed and infected should call OSHA, CDC, and congressional leadership. 
  13. Call your state Health Department and advise them that you have a case in your agency.  

If you have any questions, please call your AFGE district office

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