As you know, next Friday, Sept. 25 is the deadline for certain employers to implement and train select employees on an infectious disease preparedness and response plan. The plan is among requirements for “medium” level employers with 11 or more employees under Virginia’s COVID-19 workplace safety regulations known as the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).
Through our ETS checklist, webinar on understanding the ETS as employers, and recent podcast, VADA has worked to help you understand and comply with the regulations, including specifically the infectious disease plan requirement. That said, you might have lingering questions as we approach next week.
Below are some general notes to keep in mind. Also, our legal team is happy to chat should you have questions about what might be required for your business.
- If you have 11 or more employees and any employees at the “medium” risk level, then you must implement an infectious disease preparedness and response plan by Sept. 25.
- Also, such employers must train employees on their infectious disease plan by the same date. The ETS does not provide much guidance on what that training requires, so businesses should use common sense in deciding how to relay the information within their infectious disease plan to their “medium” level employees.
- Your infectious disease plan would only apply to those “medium” level employees. Therefore, you need only train those employees on the plan.
- The infectious disease plan template is among the ETS training materials the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) has provided precisely to help employers comply with this part of the ETS. It’s not a blanket plan for all VADA members, because every business is different. But it is helpful, since most employers aren’t medical experts, as employers seek compliance with the plan requirements.
About the template:
- Do not simply place your business name on the front of the template and consider your infectious disease plan requirement satisfied. Tailor the plan to your business and adhere to it.
- Remember the plan template is only that—a template to help you shape your specific plan to your business. On that note, there are parts of the plan that go beyond the ETS and seem to place additional requirements on your store(s). It does not and cannot. The ETS is the governing language, and the plan template is only there for reference.
- When you are forming an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, consult your HR team and legal counsel and cross-reference the template with the actual requirements in 16VAC25-220-70 (pp. 39-43) of the ETS, where it states clearly what’s needed in your plan.
- Lastly, if you downloaded the template a while ago, there is a new plan template on the DOLI training materials webpage (and above). It is largely the same as before, but the page that offers sample screening questions for folks no longer features a question about travel.
If you have questions about any of the above, please contact Anne Gambardella, Esq. or Tommy Lukish, Esq. Anne is available at (804) 545-3006 or AGambardella@vada.com. You can reach Tommy at (804) 545-3028 or TLukish@vada.com.
The content on this webpage is not intended as legal advice. If you require legal advice, please contact your attorney. The content on this webpage reflects information at the time the content was created and, given the changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, is subject to change at any time.