Federal Government Moves Against Three States Over Covid-19 Worker Safety – The Wall Street Journal

The Labor Department is moving to strip three Republican-led states of their ability to operate their own workplace-safety bodies for failing to adopt Covid-19 safety standards at least as effective as the federal government’s, the latest development in a fight between the Biden administration and some states over federal coronavirus rules.

Labor Department officials said Tuesday the agency was initiating the process of revoking state-level oversight of workforce-safety programs in Utah, Arizona and South Carolina. The federal government said it began taking steps after the three states didn’t adopt, at minimum, the federal Covid-19 safety plans for healthcare workers, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration—a Labor Department subagency—released in June. The standard included requirements on masking, social distancing and paid leave for Covid-19 recovery, the federal government said.