Virginia Drops Covid Workplace Rules
On Monday, the Virginia Workplace Safety Board voted to end the state’s emergency rules to protect workers from Covid-19, leaving employers to follow stricter rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the workplace.
The report of Covid outbreaks to the state Department of Health. Virginia, which has its workplace safety agency, was the first state to put emergency standards to protect workers from the virus. Enacted in July 2020 under Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, these standards required employers to wear masks indoors in high-risk areas.
The current Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, directed the state health board to review the standards earlier this year. Arguing they represent a burden on businesses.
Virginia’s Stand Standard for Covid-19
“Virginia’s standing standard for Covid-19 falls short of current CDC guidance and what many other states are doing to combat. They are adding that nothing stops employers from going beyond government regulations. The current state of the pandemic” said Nathaniel M. Glasser, attorney at Epstein Becker & Green. Who specializes in Covid-19 and labor law.
The rules will be replaced by guidelines for employers recommending promoting vaccinations. Encourage symptomatic employees to stay family and demand those infected with the coronavirus not to go to work.
Gov. Youngkin said that “it’s undeniable that Virginia is open for business.” Virginia AFL-CIO President Doris Krause-Mais said the state “decided to drop safety measures for working people.” That “the Covid-19 crisis is still a pandemic.”
OSHA under President Biden tried to introduce a sweeping rule requiring Covid vaccinations or regular testing of approximately 84 million American workers. The Supreme Court blocked it. They were leaving workers and their employers across the country to grapple with a patchwork of state and local regulations. States with their own OSH agencies should have rules that are at least as effective as those set by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.