New Emergency COVID-19 Rules for Virginia Employers
Virginia is the first state to enact specific COVID-19 workplace mandates for employers. Violation of these emergency mandates means hefty fines. The mandates will be effective once they are published in a Richmond newspaper, per Virginia law. They will last for 6 months or until a state law is passed.
Emergency safety mandates include:
- No retaliation against employees who wear PPE or voice a reasonable concern about infection control.
- COVID-19 Return to Work Policy
- Employers must have a return to work policy addressing how to handle employees that test positive for COVID-19.
- 24-hour Notification
- Notification within 24 hours if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
- 10 Day Waiting Period (Or Two Negative Tests)
- Employees with COVID (or who are suspected to have it) cannot return to work for 10 days or until after 2 negative tests.
- Masks and Social Distancing
- For customer-facing roles, masks and social distancing are mandatory (Virginia also has a state mandate for masks separate from these mandates).
- If social distancing is not possible, employers must provide frequent access to sanitation measures.
- Common Areas – Close or Control Access
- Employers must close or control access to common areas to prevent exposure.
- Sanitation Requirements
- Common spaces must be disinfected after each shift with EPA approved chemicals.
- Regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces.
- Employer Responsibility Shifts by Risk Category (very high, high, medium, or low)
- Employer duties differ depending on whether employee’s COVID-19 risk level is “very high,” “high,” “medium,” or “low,” based on the employee’s job duties.
These mandates are not yet final – sign up for the Lipp Law Firm newsletter to stay connected on updates.
Contact Lipp Law to get a Return to Work Policy in place: (703) 896-7704
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