Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Atlantic County government has been completely exonerated of any failure to provide adequate protection of its employees against COVID-19.
In a letter to County Executive Dennis Levinson, state representatives of the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) Program confirmed the county was found to be in full compliance with current federal and state protocols and guidelines.
“Our determination is that the employer is satisfactorily complying with the Executive Order and with PEOSH injury and illness reporting requirements,” the letter stated. “As no violations were found during this inspection, this case will be considered closed at this time.”
The state failed to find any violations or hazardous conditions as alleged in a complaint from a handful of employees in the Department of Family and Community Development, located in the county office building at 1333 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City.
“Employees certainly have the right to voice their concerns, but in this case, their concerns were unsubstantiated and never brought to the attention of their supervisors, department head or county administrator,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “It’s unfortunate that a few unhappy employees tried to misrepresent and disparage county government when we are in total compliance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order.
The county was notified in a November 17 letter from the New Jersey Department of Health of complaints with multiple alleged hazard violations. The county responded within the required five working days with a thorough, detailed explanation that addressed each specific complaint and included copies of COVID-19 policies, training records, receipts for protective equipment purchases and documentation of injuries and illnesses for the past four years.
The state’s response did include three suggestions outside the original complaints, most of which the county is already providing. The county also continues to update and modify its COVID-19 policies in accordance with the state.
“Atlantic County has worked as hard to protect our employees as we have to protect the public and our efforts have been successful,” added Levinson. “I hope this confirmation brings reassurance to all. I wish to thank the New Jersey Department of Health for its timely and comprehensive response.”