Labor Law: Virginia Employers Must Comply With Workplace Safety Rules That Conflict With CDC And Governor’s Order | Economic news
By KAREN MICHAEL Special Envoy
Since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unexpectedly announced that vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask in most settings, employers have wondered how these changes apply to their patients. workplaces and their workers.
In Virginia, it’s a little more complicated because a permanent standard released earlier this year by the state’s Health and Safety Codes Board has not been rescinded.
This means that these workplace safety rules still apply to most Virginia employees. Standards set for businesses related to COVID-19 include cleaning, environmental changes, training, mask wear, testing, isolation, return to work, and reporting requirements.
Companies in Virginia that allow their employees to work without a mask while being in close contact with others will be breaking the standards.
The governor has yet to address the conflict between standards and his recent executive action to bring masked mandates into line with CDC guidelines.
Although the governor approved the standards, he no longer has direct control over overriding them. This is because the standards, which do not even mention the vaccine, cannot automatically expire.
In order to remove or revise them, the Safety and Health Codes Board may, within 14 days of the expiration of the governor’s COVID-19 state of emergency, call or hold a meeting to determine if there is a continuing need for regulation.