The first state to implement workplace health and safety standards for COVID-19 is poised to roll back those requirements. Virginia’s Permanent COVID-19 Employee Health and Safety Requirements (the “Permanent Standard”) established requirements for employers to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, with the Omicron wave receding, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin says the Permanent Standard presents “a significant burden on businesses” and should be reconsidered.
Pursuant to Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order issued on January 15, 2022, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (the “Board”) convened on February 16, 2022, to determine whether the Permanent Standard is still necessary. Adopting the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s (“DOLI”) recommendation, the Board agreed that there is no continued need for the Permanent Standard because the virus, “based on emerging scientific and medical evidence, . . . no longer constitute[s] a grave danger to employees in the workplace.”
There has been a recent flurry of movement – both in the courts and in state legislatures – on the marijuana law front across several states. As we previously reported, on February 22, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed three separate cannabis reform bills into law (NJ A21, NJ A 1897, and NJ A5342/NJ S3454), formally legalizing the use and possession of recreational marijuana in the Garden State. The new laws contain express workplace-related provisions that impact New Jersey employers by establishing non-discrimination rules for recreational cannabis users or ...
The first COVID-19 vaccines have started being shipped across the U.S. with the expectation that millions of doses will be administered over the next few weeks, with many times more over the coming months. This is unequivocally good news and reason for optimism. Meanwhile, however, the pandemic continues to spread nationwide and the numbers are rising rapidly.
The unabated second wave spike of COVID-19 infections arriving with the holiday season and our traditional time for gatherings has led governors, mayors and health departments across the country to tighten restrictions on ...
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the nation, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia all recently have implemented additional mitigation measures that impact business operations. Below is a summary of the key restrictions of which businesses within the DMV should be aware.
District of Columbia
The District of Columbia maintains a compilation of Phase Two Guidance to assist all businesses in reopening (or staying open) responsibly. Recently, on November 6, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2020-110, which modifies previous quarantine ...
On July 27, 2020, Virginia became the first state in the nation to implement workplace safety and health standards for COVID-19. The Safety and Health Codes Board adopted § 16VAC25-220, an Emergency Temporary Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 (the “Temporary Standard”), which is designed to supplement and enhance existing Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (“VOSH”) laws, rules, and regulations that may apply to the prevention and control of COVID-19 in the workplace. Virginia imposed these standards because ...
Featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This week, Virginia became the first state to issue workplace safety standards, but with guidance still varying widely, many nationwide businesses have begun requiring masks.
As featured on #WorkforceWednesday: This week, we finally have some guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and big employment law changes in Virginia go into effect.
July 1, 2020 represents a milestone for Virginia employers. As we previously reported, nearly two dozen new employment laws take effect, including the Virginia Values Act. In addition, all of Virginia enters Phase Three of Governor Ralph Northam’s Safer at Home plan to reopen the economy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changes to Virginia Employment Law
Employers with Virginia operations should take note of the following important changes:
- Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Military Status, and Pregnancy: The Virginia Values Act amended the Virginia Human Rights Act
On May 27, 2020, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Order 0202-067, which details the Phase One limited reopening of non-essential businesses in Washington, D.C., to begin on Friday, May 29, 2020. The Mayor’s decision to begin to reopen D.C. follows on the heels of prior orders of Governors Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam to reopen neighboring Maryland and Virginia, respectively. Governor Hogan allowed certain nonessential businesses in Maryland to reopen on May 15, 2020, and on May 27, 2020, he issued Order 20-05-27-01, expanding its phase one reopening. Governor Northam’s ...
Virginia has now joined the chorus of jurisdictions that ban social media snooping by employers. As we previously reported here and here, in a growing trend a number of states prohibit employers from requiring prospective or current employees to provide access to their social media accounts during the hiring process. On March 7, 2015, the Virginia legislature passed H. 2081, a law prohibiting employers from asking or requiring employees or applicants (1) to disclose the username and password to their social media accounts, and (2) to add an employer to the list of contacts ...
By: Kara M. Maciel
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in Norfolk, Virginia has announced that it will be stepping up its compliance audits and enforcement efforts against area hotels. In the past few years, the DOL stated it found violations at about 60% of local hotels. According to the DOL, the agency recently made spot checks at 10 area hotels since April. This is just one part of the agency’s nationwide enforcement program and its “Plan/Prevent/Protect” initiative against the hospitality industry. Common violations assessed by the DOL include:
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