Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings earlier this month joined AGs inCalifornia, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Washington, and the District of Columbia to express concern over how the giant company is handling coronavirus.
The letter was issued through the office of the Illinois Attorney General.
The attorneys general are all Democrats.
“In light of this increasing spread of the COVID-19 virus in Walmart stores around the country, we are concerned that Walmart has not taken adequate steps to protect its employees and the public. Our offices continue to receive reports of overcrowded stores and a general failure by Walmart to implement measures to ensure that customers and employees maintain a distance of six feet from each other, and to monitor compliance with such measures, the letter stated.
The letter goes on to state that many AGs’ offices, have also received reports of failure by Walmart to adequately sanitize its stores, even after learning of confirmed COVID-19 cases in its workforce.
The letter goes on to state that states have received complaints of employees. who have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms have been pressured by their managers to go back to work and do not get adequate screening when they return.
Walmart has stated that it offers up to 26 weeks of partial pay of 50 percent to employees who are confirmed to be COVID-19 positive.
“Walmart’s restricted COVID-19 emergency leave remains woefully short of the basic standards set by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to confront this pandemic,” the letter claimed.
The letter asks for the retailer, which has seen strong sales in its stores and online to enforce social distancing guidelines and establish plans and policies regarding the presence of the virus.
In Delaware, the does not identify employers with staff that test positive for COVID-19. In some cases, employers release that information. The only exception has been nursing homes that have more than one death from the virus.
Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for a response to the letter.