August 2022

State Updates

 

Virginia replaces emergency temporary standard with new guidance

04/07/22

Author: ADP Admin/Tuesday, April 5, 2022/Categories: Compliance Corner , State Compliance Update, Virginia

The Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board has repealed its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and provided new guidance on COVID-19 safety procedures. The Board repealed the ETS on March 23, 2022.

Background:

The Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board enacted an Emergency Temporary Standard to address COVID-19 safety requirements in workplaces on July 15, 2020, which was later made permanent on January 27, 2021.

The Details:

Virginia has provided guidance that replaces the ETS, effective March 23, 2022.

Under the guidance, employers cannot discriminate against or terminate an employee for wearing (or not wearing) a mask, with limited exceptions, such as in places where masks are required by law or in certain medical situations or healthcare locations.

The guidance also instructs employers to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by having workers use employer-provided face coverings or surgical masks and encouraging workers to stay home if they are infected with COVID-19 or experience its symptoms. Workers with COVID-19 symptoms should be encouraged to seek a physician’s advice on testing and treatment.

Employers should also engage workers to mitigate COVID-19 transmission by:

  • Facilitating employee vaccinations and booster shots;
  • Prioritizing sanitary work practices, such as frequent handwashing;
  • Using languages that employees understand to teach them COVID-19 policies;
  • Operating and maintaining ventilation systems to manufacturers’ specifications; and
  • Following VOSH recordkeeping and reporting standards for work-related COVID-19 cases, and other applicable VOSH standards, including respiratory protections, personal protective equipment, sanitation, bloodborne pathogens, and the Virginia General Duty Clause that requires employers to provide employment and a workplace free of recognized hazards.

 

Next Steps:

Virginia employers should continue to monitor and ensure compliance with the new guidance and any federal, state and/or local laws and orders that pertain to vaccine and/or masking mandates when creating and enforcing their policies.

Contact your dedicated service professional if you have any questions.

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Tags: 04/07/22

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