Environment Department, O’Reilly Auto Parts In Lovington Reach Settlement Over Alleged COVID Workplace Violations

NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney

NMED News:

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has reached a settlement with O’Reilly Auto Parts over alleged violations of workplace safety laws related to COVID-19 at a Lovington store.

NMED issued two citations to O’Reilly in January 2021 for allegedly failing to protect employees from exposure to COVID-19 at its Lovington store. In July 2020, three employees at the location tested positive for the virus, one of whom died from the virus. Due to measures taken by O’Reilly at that location, no additional employees at the Lovington store have tested positive since July 22, 2020. 

As part of the settlement, O’Reilly will host 11 vaccination events for both employees and the public throughout New Mexico in conjunction with NMED and the New Mexico Department of Health. O’Reilly is the first retailer of its kind in New Mexico to host a series of public vaccination events at their stores.

“There is nothing more important than getting New Mexicans vaccinated and our settlement with O’Reilly Auto Parts prioritizes that outcome,” NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said. “All employers must work with their employees to help them get vaccinated. Our employees are our friends and families – now is the time to protect them from illness or death by encouraging vaccination.”  

Citizens may request a vaccination event at their place of business here.

As a term of settlement, O’Reilly also must pay $34,750 to the state, which goes to the state’s general fund. This is the second settlement the state has reached with O’Reilly over alleged COVID-19 workplace safety violations during the pandemic.

NMED’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau continues to work to ensure New Mexico workplaces are safe from hazards and has conducted more than 24,000 of the 39,000 rapid responses to help businesses stay open when employees test positive.

To date, NMED has investigated more than 1,300 workplace safety complaints related to COVID-19 and 17 workplace-related COVID-19 deaths.

Anyone who believes they are working in unsafe conditions should contact 505.476.8700 or email Complaints.OSHA@state.nm.us. Citizens may remain anonymous when providing a tip or complaint.


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