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Source & Scope of Public Health Legal Powers

Western Growers Association v. Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board

Overview

Western Growers Association v. Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal. Ct. App., 1st Dist., Dec. 21, 2021): Plaintiff employers alleged the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board exceeded its statutory authority in enacting a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard. The standard required COVID-19-exposed workers to be excluded from workplaces for 10 days while receiving “pay, benefits, and seniority.” The district court denied the employers’ request to halt enforcement of the temporary standard, finding the “public interest in curbing the spread of COVID-19 weighed ‘heavily’ in favor of ongoing enforcement.” Plaintiff employers appealed, and the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s holding, finding the district court proceeded appropriately, that the Board did not exceed its statutory authority, and that the Board’s decision to issue the temporary standard deserved deference. Moreover, the Board’s findings specifically outlined “the emergency and the need for immediate action.” Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – February 15, 2022.

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