UPS Measures to Protect Employees from Covid-19 California Class Action

With the death toll for Covid-19 climbing to over 400,000 in under a year, what responsibilities do employers have to keep employees safe? The complaint for this class action alleges that United Parcel Service, Inc. maintains unsafe working conditions in its facilities in California and exposes employees to infection.

The class for this action is all current and former non-exempt workers employed by UPS throughout California at any time, between January 6, 2017 and the resolution of this case.

UPS has 1,800 facilities, at least nineteen of them in California. Employees are required to work close to others in its warehouses, and during deliveries, they interact with members of the public. However, UPS has not offered its workers PPE to wear on the job.

Plaintiff Desdnie Hess was a Local Sort Supervisor at the UPS Distribution Center in Santa Maria, California, from roughly October 2019 to May 2020. Her work involved making schedules for warehouse workers and supervising them while they loaded and unloaded trucks and sorted packages.

The complaint cites a number of sources for health and safety requirements, including the California Labor Code, General Industry Safety Orders and General Safety Standards in the California Code of Regulations, and Cal/OSHA guidance for measures to cope with Covid-19, which incorporate CDC guidelines.

Under Cal/OSHA guidelines, the complaint points to provisions for Workplace-Specific Plans, Illness Prevention Training, Individual Control Measures and Screening, and Protocols for Cleaning and Disinfecting and Physical Distancing.

According to the complaint, however, UPS has not acted adequately to protect workers:

  • It “has repeatedly ignored and/or failed to implement physical and social distancing guidelines. Physical distancing simply does not exist at [UPS’s] facilities.”
  • It does not “stagger work shifts and employees’ breaks or take other similar measures to reduce employees’ exposure to drivers, other warehouse employees, and third parties.”
  • It has not maintained adequate sanitization measures. Trucks are sanitized, but common areas and bathrooms “are not cleaned sufficiently.” Workers touch surfaces, pallets, and packages repeatedly and are not given protection such as gloves or sanitizing wipes.
  • It did not give employees masks until May 2020, and it does not enforce mask policies.
  • It has not given workers any illness prevention training.
  • It is not providing temperature checks or symptom screening.

The complaint alleges that at least three workers at the Santa Maria facility came down with Covid-19. The complaint claims that UPS did not take action to prevent the spread of the disease to others, did not do contact tracing, and did not notify people who might’ve needed to quarantine or get tested.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Employment

Most Recent Case Event

UPS Measures to Protect Employees from Covid-19 California Complaint

February 6, 2021

With the death toll for Covid-19 climbing to over 400,000 in under a year, what responsibilities do employers have to keep employees safe? The complaint for this class action alleges that United Parcel Service, Inc. maintains unsafe working conditions in its facilities in California and exposes employees to infection.

UPS Measures to Protect Employees from Covid-19 California Complaint

Case Event History

UPS Measures to Protect Employees from Covid-19 California Complaint

February 6, 2021

With the death toll for Covid-19 climbing to over 400,000 in under a year, what responsibilities do employers have to keep employees safe? The complaint for this class action alleges that United Parcel Service, Inc. maintains unsafe working conditions in its facilities in California and exposes employees to infection.

UPS Measures to Protect Employees from Covid-19 California Complaint
Tags: Covid-19 Related, Employment Violations, Health or Safety Standards for Employees