RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials have passed temporary new workplace safety rules designed to protect employees from the coronavirus, becoming the first state to adopt such measures.
The Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board voted Wednesday to approve rules for businesses that include social distancing requirements, notifications for employees when a co-worker has tested positive for the virus and timelines for when employees who recover from the virus can return to work.
Business groups said the new rules were an overreach that will add unfair burdens on businesses already struggling with the virus’ economic fallout.
Labor groups hailed the new rules as crucial to worker safety.
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Va. congressman flooded with unemployment complaints
A Virginia congressman is raising an alarm about the state’s delays in delivering unemployment benefits, saying he’s received two months of “continuous complaints” from his constituents.
Democratic Rep. A. Donald McEachin’s letter to Virginia Employment Commissioner Ellen Marie Hess describes hundreds of phone calls and online requests from constituents, who have been unable to receive benefits, stopped receiving benefits without warning or explanation, or were unable to reach VEC staff by phone or email.
The Associated Press and other media outlets have documented similar complaints about the commission, which has been dealing with an unprecedented flood of applications for benefits.
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