Agriculture and Business Coalition Comments on Cal/OSHA Emergency Standards Preliminary Injunction Ruling
IRVINE, CA - Recently, the Superior Court of California denied motions for preliminary injunctions restraining the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board from enforcing the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).
After this ruling, a coalition of agricultural and business groups, of which Western Growers is a part, issued the following statement:
“The health and safety of farm and ranch employees is the top priority for agricultural employers. Throughout California, farmers and ranchers have adapted their operations to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. In addition, agricultural organizations have advocated with local, state, and federal elected officials and agencies to prioritize access to vaccines for farm and ranch employees; individual farms and agricultural businesses have sponsored vaccination clinics, with more already scheduled.”
The statement went on to further explain why the coalition was disappointed by the court’s ruling.
“The court’s decision only complicates the ongoing work by family farms and other essential businesses to maintain safe, plentiful food supplies in the wake of COVID-19. The Cal/OSHA Board failed to justify the need for emergency intervention, despite their own staff report that the emergency standards were not necessary to protect employee health.”
The statement concluded by saying that, “With this decision, the court failed to properly exercise its oversight on this critically important issue, and we are now exploring our legal options to ensure the safe and timely delivery of food and essential services to all Californians. In the meantime, we will work with Cal/OSHA to assure the agency better understands the essential businesses and agricultural operations it regulates, and to inject practicality into the Emergency Temporary Standards as it develops forthcoming policies and guidance.”
The five other associations in the coalition include: The California Association of Winegrape Growers, The California Business Roundtable, The California Farm Bureau Federation, and the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California.
Continue to read AndNowUKnow as we follow along with this ruling in our reports.