Setting Precedent for States, Virginia Crafts COVID-19 Worker Standard

- Citing OSHA’s refusal to develop an employer safety standard to protect against COVID-19 infections, Virginia’s health department is moving forward with the country’s first workplace rule to prevent or reduce infections in the workplace that could be a model for other states to use. According to press reports, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) is expected to finalize an emergency temporary standard (ETS) for COVID-19 in the coming days. The regulations have drawn praise from unions and labor advocates but have drawn sharp opposition from many businesses and industry groups, which say the new regulations are unnecessary in the face of existing guidelines from the state and federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OSHA.

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