Indiana House Dems Ask Governor For Better Safety Enforcement For Essential Workers

Apr 21, 2020

Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) is the leader of the Indiana House Democratic Caucus.
Credit Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana House Democrats sent a letter to the governor’s office asking the state to better protect the safety of essential workers.The state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has seen thousands of non-formal COVID-19 complaints related to various safety issues in the past month.

In a letter to the governor last week, the party caucus notes that in a recent executive order, Gov. Eric Holcomb requires businesses to follow CDC guidelines. However, they say without “strict enforcement,” too many businesses are interpreting the guidelines as suggestions. 

READ MORE: Can I Go For A Walk? Here's What The Updated 'Stay-At-Home' Order Really Does

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana 2020 Two-Way. Text "elections" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and the 2020 election.

LEE MAS: ¿Puedo Salir A Caminar? Esto Es Lo Que Significa Una Orden De Permanecer En Casa

Phil GiaQuinta is the Indiana House Democratic Caucus leader. He says his staff has been hearing from essential workers that nothing is being done when they file online complaints to the state on IOSHA’s website about workplaces not following safety guidelines. 

“That doesn’t cut it,” he says. “They have to, with the governor’s backing ... say look: You need to adhere to the guidelines or maybe you’re not going to be open for business.” 

The caucus is also asking the state to require personal protective equipment for essential workers and make it easier for them to get worker’s compensation if infected. The governor's office has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Contact Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.