The Hampton Roads Chamber is a premier pro-business organization representing more than 400,000 members of Virginia's workforce. The Chamber supports public policies that strengthen free enterprise and regional collaboration efforts that promote economic development and conditions for businesses to succeed.
The Hampton Roads Chamber is strongly opposed to the Department of Labor and Industry's COVID-19 emergency regulations becoming permanent. Businesses, especially small businesses, are already struggling to survive these hard economic times and regulations only increase the burden on them. In a time where some reports estimate that 20-25% of businesses will shut down permanently, these regulations threaten to drive those numbers even higher.
The business community had no real input when they were originally drafted, developed, and when they were put in place. The regulations were developed too quickly and are incredibly broad in scope.
On top of these regulations, the business community also follows guidelines from the CDC, OSHA, and guidance specified in the CARES Act. Those regulations alone change almost week to week. Increasing the number of regulations that businesses will have to adhere to, will only make a hard situation more difficult.
The DOLI Regulations will dramatically increasing the amount of litigation that will go to the courts. They create a litany of reasons for filing a lawsuit, and a majority of those reasons are based on an individual's perspective, rather than on the facts. Making the DOLI Regulations permanent will only hurt businesses as they try to move into "the new normal" that we find ourselves adjusting to.
While facing devastating economic conditions Virginia's businesses continue to keep the safety and health of their employees as their top priority. We respectfully request that you reject the proposed permanent emergency regulations.