Wearing Mask, Required PPE and Access toEemergency Leave
Workers must be provided the medical grade PPE when working in high risk environments such as our prisons and jails. We know that these workers are more susceptible to this virus while working indoors, especially when working in areas where individuals are positive with corona virus. Not only should these workers have the medical grade mask and face coverings, but covering to protect their clothing as well. Should one of these workers be exposed to the virus and the need to quarantine arise, these workers should have access to the leave under the Family First Corona Virus Medical Leave Act. As it stands right now many of these workers are having to use what ever leave they may have accumulated when they have to quarantine. In Virginia's prisons Correctional Officers are being exempted from the emergency leave should they be exposed to the virus and forced to use their personal leave balances when having to quarantine to prevent the risk of spread. That is not right! This Pandemic is not going anywhere any time soon and there is already concern that another virus is on the horizon. These essential employees should not be exempt from the emergency leave that is afforded to others when they too are risking their lives to provide the Commonwealth and its communities with good public safety. We need tough standards and we need to make them permanent.