The Lipp Law Firm, PC

Call Lipp Law: (703) 896-7704

The Lipp Law Firm, PC

Are Masks Still Required in Virginia Workplaces?

  • By: Sarah Mugmon
    Published: February 25, 2022
Are Masks Still Required in Virginia Workplaces?


As employers begin reopening offices and employees return to the workplace, The Lipp Law Firm has received questions about how to safely and effectively do so.  One of the main questions is whether employers must require employees to wear masks in the workplace.  For now, the answer is generally “yes”—employees, regardless of vaccination status, in areas of Virginia with “high or substantial community transmission” must wear masks while indoors, unless they are alone in a room, actively drinking or eating, or have a medical or religious exemption.

In January 2022, however, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin issued an Executive Order that required the Safety and Health Codes Board to hold an emergency meeting and review the need for mask mandates and other COVID-19-related mandates affecting private businesses under the current laws and regulations.  It is likely only a matter of time until there are amendments to the Virginia standards for employers.


In the meantime, here some considerations under current Virginia laws and regulations for employers reopening their offices.


  • What is the process to return to the workplace to protect all staff?
  • Set a policy that is compliant with Virginia’s current law.
  • This policy should ensure sick employees stay home, employees practice social distancing, employees mask and take other hygienic measures, the building and its ventilation are appropriate, the workplace is cleaned and disinfected, and employees know how to share compliance concerns.
  • Does an employee’s vaccination status impact the mask mandate rules?
  • If the business is in an area of “high or substantial community transmission,” all employees (regardless of vaccination status) are required to wear face coverings unless alone in a room, actively drinking or eating, or have a medical or religious exemption.
  • If the business is in an area of “low or moderate community transmission,” fully vaccinated employees (i.e., those with both doses of a 2-dose vaccine or a dose of a single-dose vaccine) are not required to wear face coverings indoors.  Unvaccinated employees are still required to wear face coverings, but they may seek religious and medical exemptions from doing so.


Compliance issues concerning masks typically arise from employee complaints, so employers should ensure they are fulfilling their obligations under current Virginia laws.  If you need assistance with creating return-to-work plans and policies, do not hesitate to contact Lipp Law today.

Kathryn Megan Lipp

Katie dedicates her practice to employment separation guidance.
Based on her successful employment litigation practice...Read More

Before You Go...

Are you a business owner or executive in the DMV area (DC, Maryland, Virginia)?

Or maybe you just want to hear our Lipp Law updates (thanks for your support! 🙏)?

If so, you should check out Lipp Law's Employment Law Newsletter. Expect regular updates about employment law and the team here at Lipp Law, focused on serving you - the backbone of our DMV business community.

If you like to keep your business compliant with employment law changes, subscribe below!