On July 27, 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) published emergency regulations that create temporary standards for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These standards apply to all employers in Virginia and will have an impact on local associations and real estate firms with staff.
The regulations create classifications of risk category from Very High Risk to Lower Risk. While most office workers will fall into the Lower Risk category, certain situations or settings could elevate individuals into the Medium Risk category. These situations include the operation of a retail store or in-person contact with others or providing services in customer premises, such as homes or businesses.
There are certain requirements that apply to all employers, such as conducting a hazard assessment and training for employees on risk reduction strategies, and others that only apply to certain employers, such as the development and implementation of an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan. DOLI has resources available on their website to help in developing mandatory policies and training. These resources include a high-level “Nine Steps to Achieve COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard Compliance”, a hazard assessment template, and an infectious disease plan template.
Virginia REALTORS® has also created a more detailed document to assist you in determining the appropriate risk level to categorize employees, as well as check lists of tasks and policies that must be created.
All employers must provide initial training or basic written information on COVID-19 hazards and measure to minimize exposure by August 26, 2020. Employers that must develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan – employers with medium risk jobs and more than 10 employees – must do so and train employees on the plan no later than September 25, 2020.