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IRS Assures Union of Safety Measures for Returning Workers

April 28, 2020, 4:47 PM

The IRS has taken several safety precautions to ensure workers who have volunteered to return to their offices this week are protected from the coronavirus, the agency told the workers’ union.

According to a Tuesday statement from the National Treasury Employees Union, the IRS told the organization Monday that it had obtained a number of disposable masks for each of the 10 campuses workers were asked to return to this week, so that any employees who didn’t bring their own face covering were provided one.

  • The NTEU statement followed criticism of the IRS from two prominent Democratic lawmakers over the weekend for recalling about 10,000 employees before having enough masks for all of them.
  • The agency had previously said it was in the process of procuring more personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves—much of which it expected to arrive this week if the items hadn’t already been delivered.
  • The NTEU on Monday issued a news release saying agencies should take precautions, including providing adequate face coverings, stocking up on hand sanitizer and disinfectant, and properly cleaning facilities before asking employees to return to work.
  • The IRS also told the union that its worksites allow for proper physical distancing and that the agency has increased cleaning of common areas and high-touch points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Allyson Versprille in Washington at aversprille@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio@bloombergtax.com; Kathy Larsen at klarsen@bloombergtax.com