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Cal/OSHA Fines Supermarkets For COVID-19 Violations

On September 30, 2020, Cal/OSHA announced substantial fines against five Los Angeles area supermarkets for failing to update their safety measures adequately to protect their workers from COVID-19. The fined markets, all owned by Kroger Company, were Ralphs stores in Culver City, West Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, and Studio City, and a Food 4 Less in Los Angeles.

The fines range from $13,500 to $25,560. The cited violations included:

  • Two stores each not reporting death of an employee from COVID-19.
  • Four that allowed too many customers in their stores at the same time, thereby jeopardizing social distancing.
  • Two stores not providing proper training, to include “how the virus is spread, measures to avoid infection, signs and symptoms of infection, and how to safely use cleaners and disinfectants.”
  • Two stores not installing physical barriers, such as plexiglass, between employees and customers at a cheese counter and registers.

Cal/OSHA of course hopes making high profile businesses high profile violators will deter businesses statewide from cutting corners on infection limitation measures. The agency offers multi-lingual employer guidances by industry, webinars, training and other educational materials, and FAQs on such pandemic protection, recordkeeping and reporting standards.

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For further information, please or contact Tim BowlesCindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin

October 16, 2020