Business LawNewsBusiness Law | The New World Order (at least in VA)

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Businesses have to adjust, not to just one specific thing or incident, but constant shifts in the reality of the commercial world.

Business is not like Monopoly where there is a set way to win/succeed, although occasionally you may have the urge to “flip the board” in anger. These days, plenty of business owners are ready to flip the board with all of the governmental regulations to jump through in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce has sent out these regulations based on numerous suggestions and discussions to be viewed by all employers in the commonwealth in this emergency. 

This short article is strictly highlighting the legally enforced business requirements and is not intended to focus on the virus itself, but rather what it means for business owners in the state of VA. 

  1. Assessment 

The first part of the process that determines much of what is required of each employer is crucial in adhering to the new regulations, job assessment. Every task that an employee does or may do must be assessed based on the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 virus. These risks range from lower risk to very high risk.  

After this, there is going to be a requirement of some form testing/screening based on the risk assessment, paired with the encouragement of self-reporting of any symptoms by any employees. 

The regulation is strongly encouraging flexibility with sick days as well as teleworking, and shift staggering if possible. 

  2. Continuous Policing 

After initial screening is done, the regulation is requiring policies such as providing protective equipment, making sure employees practice regular social distancing, as well as ensuring any employees who show symptoms do not return to work until symptoms are gone and it is ensured they will not spread the virus. 

It is encouraged to ensure that an employee who does show symptoms or tests positive stays home until properly cleared by either an in-house test or a licensed medical professional’s say-so.

While doing all of this, employers must be wary of anti-discrimination policies during policing the workplace. Health regulations on asking about certain medical things are being examined even closer than usual during these strange times to work. 

 3. Timing Parameters 

Based on the job risk assessment, each level of the employer has a time limit ranging from 30-60 days to implement the measures mentioned above. 

This article is not meant to be legal advice about how to address each regulation, just intended to be a simplified message to our home state’s business owners. 

The link to read more information on the official VA government statement is below:

https://www.doli.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/COVID-19-ETS-EMPLOYER-GUIDE-FINAL-7.23.2020.pdf

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