Frontline California workers could lose protections if Republican efforts to limit corporate liability is included in a new stimulus package, advocates warn.

Republicans have pushed legislation for months to keep businesses from being sued if customers or employees contract the virus. But advocates are alarmed that language proposed by Senate Republican leaders is being weighed as part of the next economic aid deal that would prevent the nation’s workplace safety overseers — the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or similar state-level agencies — from enforcing certain COVID-related safety regulations.

The desire by Senate Republican to hold private businesses immune from COVID lawsuits has been among the major sticking points preventing Congress from passing another COVID aid package.

Congress has just a few days left to pass another package before certain benefits expire at the end of the year, including expanded unemployment insurance that has been a lifeline for millions of Americans whose employers closed because of the virus. These protections were part of the CARES Act.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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