Complaint filed against San Francisco after COVID outbreak among city workers

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health filed a complaint against the city of San Francisco for “dangerous, inhumane treatment” of city employees.

The Imminent Hazard complaint alleges that the city has failed to provide handwashing and toilet facilities, and failed to enforce COVID safety measures for its city workers.

According to Cal-OSHA, nine workers at the Cesar Chavez St. Maintenance Yard facility have tested positive for COVID-19 in the the last three weeks of January.

“There have been nine positive COVID results in the last two-and-a-half weeks. One worker is hospitalized. They have not notified the employees of the outbreak. They have not had them tested,” said Theresa Foglio-Ramirez, Business Agent for Laborers’ Local Union 261, which represents the workers and filed the Cal-OSHA complaint.

“We need action now to protect workers and the public from COVID-19,” Foglio-Ramirez said.

Foglio-Ramirez also says San Francisco did not provide the requisite notice to Local 261 members regarding the outbreak or offered the necessary testing pursuant to Section 8.

She says employees are concerned they have been working in an outbreak zone without being notified

“There are certain requirements that an employer has to meet. Once you get three positive tests within a two-week period you’re supposed to notify employees that were in the area. You’re supposed to test the employees that week and every week going forward until you go two weeks without a positive test result. You’re also supposed to sanitize and disinfect all the areas in which the positive cases were in. None of that occurred,” Foglio-Ramirez said.

Essential city workers are eligible to get a free COVID-19 test provided by the city, according to SF Public Works.

According to the Department of Public Works, they have two employee groups.

There are 18 COVID cases in their operations division, and 11 covid cases in their non-operations division. 

They sent a statement that reads:

“Each case is investigated and contact tracing is performed. When workplace close contacts are identified, these employees are notified individually and removed from the workplace and informed they must home quarantine per San Francisco Department of Public Health guidance.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News