Virginia Adopts New COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standards
Virginia recently became the first state to adopt an emergency workplace safety standard addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. While these specific regulations have not yet been published, the Governor’s press release suggests these rules will “require all employers to mandate social distancing measures and face coverings for employees in customer-facing positions and when social distancing is not possible, provide frequent access to hand washing or hand sanitizer, and regularly clean high-contact surfaces. In addition, new standards require all employees to be notified within 24 hours if a coworker tests positive for the virus. Employees who are known or suspected to be positive for COVID-19 cannot return to work for 10 days or until they receive two consecutive negative tests.”
Before these regulations go into effect, any employer with employees in Virginia will need to draft responsive policies and, even if a template is provided by the state, adapt those rules to their specific workplaces. Once the regulations are in effect, Virginia employers will need to be ready to deal with compliance issues caused by the application of a one-size-fits-all law to their unique circumstance. Consistent with our advice that all employers should have some workplace guidelines, if you have Virginia employees now is the time to prepare to comply with this new law.
ABOUT RUSSELL BERGER
As an accomplished labor and employment attorney and Practice Group Director, Mr. Berger provides business counsel to employers on employee matters and is well-versed in litigating in both state and federal courts. Russell Berger is the trusted legal counsel every business owner needs to feel confident in their decision-making and secure with their assets. As a Practice Group Director at Offit Kurman, Mr. Berger has direct experience with managing other managers, which he draws from in advising his clients. He is a pragmatic problem-solver that works efficiently and tirelessly to present his clients the best possible solutions to their most complicated issues. He represents employers, businesses, and professionals in employment disputes across the nation.
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