You should check out the July 20th issue of New Yorker with article by Jane Mayer: Back to the Jungle. It deals with Mountaire, a large chicken processor and major Trump donor. The Labor Dept has extended indemnification to them, Tyson and others under Trump's executive order as long as they make some "good faith effort" to follow CDC guidelines. Additionally OSHA has virtually zero response to worker complaints on job conditions. Along with the NLRB, packed with all Trump appointees Mountaire is also working to negate Union labor contracts.If employees can prove serious and willful negligence then they should bring suit.
What probably should have happened is all essential employees should have refused to work as you suggest. Truck drivers, meat packers, nurses, grocery workers and the like. For safety sake.
Grocers, Hospital execs, Trucking companies ought to have their asses sued off. We need trials now.
How did this Executive order come about? The "threat" of meat shortages spurred by Mountaire, Tyson and others encouraged Trump to spring into action. Reality: no shortage and an increase in meat exports since the pandemic. Profits up, worker compensation down and consumers sense no shortage which will no doubt be a campaign talking point.
So essential workers are f*cked under this program and it looks like additional emergency payments or unemployment compensation extensions are not on the radar either. Who are you going to bring to court?