Groups push Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to issue COVID-19 workplace safety rules

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Labor and environmental organizations are pushing for new workplace protections in Maryland, saying current state rules aren’t adequate to keep workers safe in the coronavirus pandemic.

The groups want Gov. Larry Hogan to issue an executive order requiring the state labor department’s occupational safety program to adopt new regulations for businesses in the pandemic. In a statement issued Wednesday, the groups said Hogan has ignored their previous calls for pandemic workplace safeguards.

The Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO asked Hogan in May to issue what’s known as an “emergency temporary standard” — new safety regulations to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus, such as requiring distancing and masks.

“We’ve had no response,” state and D.C. AFL-CIO President Donna S. Edwards said Wednesday.