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Response to NCDOL's Rejection of Proposed Workplace Infectious Disease Rules

Jeremy Sprinkle
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For Immediate Release

March 14, 2024 

Statement About NC Department of Labor’s Rejection of Proposed Workplace Airborne Infectious Disease Rules

“We cannot call workers ‘essential’ and continue to treat them as expendable.” –MaryBe McMillan, president, NC State AFL-CIO

Raleigh, NC – NC State AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan issued the following statement about North Carolina Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson’s decision to reject two proposed new rules intended to protect workers from airborne infectious diseases:

“We are deeply disappointed in the North Carolina Department of Labor’s decision not to adopt the proposed airborne infectious disease rules. Too many workers died during the COVID-19 pandemic. We need rules to protect workers from future outbreaks and pandemics. During COVID, we relied on farm workers, grocery clerks, nurses, letter carriers, and so many other essential workers to provide critical goods and services. We cannot call workers ‘essential’ and continue to treat them as expendable. We urge the Department to reconsider this decision.”

Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, [email protected] / 336-255-2711.


The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is the largest association of local unions and union councils in North Carolina, representing over one-hundred twenty-five thousand union members, fighting for good jobs, safe workplaces, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and quality public services on behalf of ALL working people.