When workers are protected, communities are protected! Thanks to the efforts of CWAers, Virginia has now become the first state in the nation to issue a comprehensive workplace standard to protect all workers from COVID-19. The Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board overwhelmingly voted on July 15 to pass an enforceable, emergency temporary standard that will go into effect later this month.
This emergency standard will require employers to develop infectious disease preparedness and response plans specific to their workplace, and to train workers about COVID-19 risks and prevention measures. The standard also gives workers a clear and enforceable protection from retaliation for exercising their rights to demand a safe workplace.
Despite these state efforts, there is still no federal OSHA Infectious Disease Standard. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and the Trump Administration have rejected all attempts to pass a National Emergency Temporary Standard and have abandoned millions of American workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. CWA members will continue to fight for strong COVID-19 standards at the state and federal level.