Adopt the Proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention for COVID-19
We commend the Department of Labor and Industries (DOLI) staff and the Safety and Health Codes Board (Board) for developing and approving emergency temporary standards in the wake of COVID-19. In particular, we thank DOLI and the Board for prioritizing physical distancing, which is one of the best ways to prevent person to person spread. We also strongly support requiring employers to provide greater transparency and communication when someone in the workplace has been infected with COVID-19, while still complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable Virginia laws and regulations. Finally, we appreciate both the strong sanitation requirements applying to workplaces and the standards that ensure access to basic sanitation needs for workers, as well as the anti-retaliation provisions.
The proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention for COVID-19 would maintain important protections for working people and communities in Virginia and provide continuity with the emergency temporary standards, thereby reducing the challenges employers and employees would face from changing standards.
Thank you for considering these comments from the Legal Aid Justice Center. We urge you to do what is right to protect Virginia’s workers and adopt the proposed Permanent Standard.