Reporting a Covid-19 Health and Safety Violation

[Employer Name]
[Business Name]
[Employer Address]

Subj:  COVID-19 Health and Safety Violation

Dear [Sir or Ma’am]:

I am writing because of my concerns about the health and safety of the workplace environment. I believe you have failed to keep the workplace free of hazards related to the novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”).

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(a)) and the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 (Cal. Lab. Code § 6300), you are required to provide my coworkers and me a place of employment free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. COVID-19 is a lethal infectious disease, and its spread has resulted in a global pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) standards provide that an employer, such as you, should take additional precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): FAQs for Businesses, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

In violation of CDC standards, you have, without justification, failed to: [Select all that apply]

  • Provide training and other administrative policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (including the importance of social distancing (maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet), wearing cloth face coverings appropriately, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, not sharing personal items or tools/equipment unless absolutely necessary, and not touching the face, mouth, or eyes);
  • Encourage employees to stay home if they feel sick and require employees to go home if they show symptoms of having COVID-19;
  • Require employees to wear a cloth face covering, or where there are additional hazards, provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as surgical masks or N-95 respirators.
  • Make sure the workspace is well-ventilated;
  • Change the alignment of workstations so employees are not facing each other;
  • Set up alternating work schedules to minimize people in the workplace at the same time;
  • Make foot traffic one-way in narrow or confined areas, such as aisles and stairwells;
  • Set up physical barriers between employees, and between employees and customers, using strip curtains, plastic barriers, or similar materials;
  • Move electronic payment terminals/credit card readers farther away from the cashier to increase the distance between the customer and the cashier;
  • Use visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, and signs to remind employees to maintain distance of 6 feet from others, including at their workstation and in break areas;
  • Place handwashing stations or hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol throughout the workplace for employees and customers;
  • Use touch-free stations where possible;
  • Make sure restrooms are well-stocked with soap and paper towels.

[If applicable] You also failed to notify my coworkers and me that we were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. While you were not required to disclose that individual’s identity, you had a duty to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by informing us of the potentially lethal exposure.

Moreover, your actions and inactions may constitute a public nuisance (Cal. Civ. Code §§ 3479, 3480). Your failure to comply with State law, local ordinances, and basic health and safety standards in the workplace, including CDC guidelines and other minimum public health standards necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, is reasonably certain to contribute to, if not cause, community spread of the disease.

When I first told you about my concerns, you treated me negatively by [INSERT negative action, e.g., ignoring me, demoting me, cutting my hours, changing my job duties to include less desired tasks, docking my pay, treating me differently from other workers, etc.].

My complaints are protected under the California Labor Code § 6310, which makes it illegal for you to discharge or in any manner discriminate against me for complaining to you, my employer, about unsafe working conditions and work practices.

I respectfully request that you take immediate action to resolve the health and safety violations identified here. Thank you for your attention to this matter.


[Your Name]