OSHA just levied one of its largest ever COVID-19-related fines: $136,000. The reason? The business wouldn’t let its employees wear masks.
We’re not talking about a massive business or even a healthcare facility. At any given time, each of Liberty Tax Service of Lynn’s two locations would have between five and six people working on-site.
Yet the owner refused to let not only employees but customers wear masks, insisting they were a “deadly” health hazard.
COVID-19-related fines, by the numbers
That figure is staggering when you consider that a meatpacking plant where four workers died from the virus only received a $13,494 slap on the wrist.
Why such a hefty fine this time? Because the employer “willfully” disregarded both employee and customer health.
This is far from the only fine. Take a look at just some of the most recent ones levied by California OSHA:
- San Quentin State Prison for $421,880
- Kaiser Permanente San Leandro (hospital) for $87,950
- Fremont Healthcare Center (nursing care) for $59,000
- BSF Fitness II LLC for $57,740
- Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center (hospital) for $56,000
- Sunray Healthcare Center (nursing care) for $53,805
- Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center (hospital) for $45,000
- Avenal State Prison for $39,600
- San Miguel Villa (nursing care) for $32,000
- Cardenas Market for $30,670
- Grimmway Enterprises Inc. for $30,600
- Mills-Peninsula Medical Center (hospital) for $25,250
- NorthBay Medical Center (hospital) for $25,250
- Coldwater Care Center LLC doing business as Sherman Village Healthcare Center (nursing care) for $21,115, and
- Carter’s Children’s Wear for $15,125.
OSHA is making it clear it’s not easing up on workplaces anytime soon, no matter what the industry.
And remember, many states require COVID-specific safety training.