Service Provider Alliance
Amy L. Bess and Aleksandra Rybicki
As Vedder Price previously reported in July 2020, Virginia was the first state to enact comprehensive COVID-19 requirements on a temporary basis for all public and private employers (the Emergency Temporary Standard or the “ETS”). Virginia is now the first state to establish a final permanent standard establishing comprehensive COVID-19 workplace safety requirements—the Final Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of COVID-19, 16 VAC 25-220 (the “FPS”), which replaces the ETS.
The FPS closely resembles the ETS and continues to exceed the guidance issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), making the FPS particularly instructive for employee health and workplace safety.
When does the FPS take effect?
The FPS became effective on January 27, 2021, with announcements being made on the Department of Labor and Industry website and in the Richmond Times Dispatch.
Who does the FPS cover?
The FPS applies to all Virginia employers and imposes specific obligations on employers with jobs or workplaces classified as “very high,” “high,” “medium,” and “low” exposure risk. Employers are expected to consider various factors in determining the exposure risk level in their workplaces, including the following:
What does the FPS require?
The FPS places certain obligations on employers regardless of risk level, including the following:
What should employers do now?
All Virginia employers should review and implement the FPS regulations as soon as possible, including ensuring that all employer policies and procedures based on the ETS are updated to reflect changes made by the FPS. Non-Virginia employers that seek guidance for employee health and workplace safety can review the FPS.
Vedder Price attorneys are closely monitoring updates to the Virginia regulations, as well as general COVID-19 guidance, and are available to help employers navigate implementation. If you have any questions regarding the topics discussed in this article, please contact Amy L. Bess at +1 (202) 312 3361, Aleksandra Rybicki at +1 (202) 312 3336 or any Vedder Price attorney with whom you have worked.
 This is not a comprehensive list. Review the ETS for all requirements.