CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB)–Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is calling on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of its workers, including Western New Yorkers returning to the IRS office in Cheektowaga, New York.
In his letter to the IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Higgins wrote, “It is your responsibility to ensure that they can do this work in a safe environment with minimal risk to their health and their communities at large. I implore you to deploy the necessary resources and issue formal guidance to support a safe reopening of campuses and remote call sites.”
The Buffalo Congressman points out more than 500 local residents are employed at the IRS’s Wage & Investment Division office located in the Appletree Business Park in Cheektowaga, and the IRS called for 10,000 employees to voluntarily return to work sites around the country, this week.
The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) which represents the Cheektowaga workers is also calling for workplace protections including: “proof of a thorough cleaning; widespread access to COVID-19 tests for federal employees; adequate supplies of sanitizers and disinfectants.” In a letter, the union is asking the IRS to provide “workspaces that accommodate safe physical distancing; a process for taking employee temperatures before they enter the building; permitting and providing the use of cloth face coverings.”
Higgins says, to date approximately 100 IRS employees have tested positive for COVID-19.