Exclusion from work, paid time off and rigorous testing requirements. These issues and more came to a head for California employers on November 30, 2020, after the California Office of Administrative Law adopted the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) emergency temporary standards. While many California employers have already implemented COVID-19 plans fulfilling previous requirements for reopening under state and local government orders, the new Cal/OSHA standards vary significantly from what businesses have likely executed to date. We examine the highlights as well as which internal policies and processes affected employers should revisit.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys are advertising for plaintiffs infected by COVID-19, and new COVID-19 personal injury lawsuits are being filed at a steady clip. In recent lawsuits, for example, employees and customers have sought to recover for financial and emotional damages caused by long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms and, in some cases, death. These developments suggest that companies will likely see increased personal injury litigation alleging the transmission of COVID-19. Below are some common questions and considerations about this new type of litigation.
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On July 27, 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board published its Emergency Temporary Standard on Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 That Causes COVID-19 (§16 VAC 25‐220) (the Standard). In doing so, Virginia became the first state to enact comprehensive COVID-19 workplace safety requirements.
On July 15, 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board voted to approve an emergency temporary standard on infectious disease prevention (§16 VAC 25‐220), becoming the first state to enact comprehensive COVID-19 workplace safety requirements. The regulation comes after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam directed the creation of enforceable workplace safety regulations in May. The final standard will become effective upon publication, which is expected next week.
COVID-19 has reached virtually the entire country, and both employers and employees in a broad range of industries have experienced outbreaks. At the same time, the government and private sector continue to take steps to slow the virus’s spread and protect employees while adapting to the new business environment. In recognition of the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is applying updated guidance in an effort to provide additional clarity to employers and workers.