Date: May 14, 2020
Keller and Heckman Partner Manesh Rath was quoted in the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Press Release, “Keeping Food Deliveries Safe,” which was republished by JDSupra. Due to COVID-19, more consumers are using delivery services to get grocery and restaurant orders. The services’ popularity brings up questions about the responsibilities of restaurants, grocery stores, and delivery companies to ensure orders are safely transported.
Although currently there’s no evidence of COVID-19 being transmitted through food, it can sometimes be transferred between infected people and on objects, such as delivery bags. Several Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standards are relevant to employers’ efforts to keep workers from being exposed to COVID-19. Mr. Rath noted that OSHA’s multiemployer policy focuses on worksites in which employees from multiple companies are present, such as suppliers’ employees stocking shelves within grocery stores. When multiple employers have workers at a common worksite, several of the employers may have a duty to comply with OSHA standards. This includes the employer with power to control the hazard or worksite, the employer whose workers may be exposed to a hazard, and/or the employer who has the power to correct a hazard.
All involved in food delivery—the restaurant or retailer, the delivery platform, and the delivery person—have a responsibility to ensure safety.
To read the full press release, please click here.