Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 16. Labor And Employment
Agency 25. Safety And Health Codes Board
Chapter 220. Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19
9/27/2021

16VAC25-220-90. Discrimination against an employee for exercising rights under this chapter is prohibited.

A. No person shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee because the employee has exercised rights under the safety and health provisions of this chapter, Title 40.1 of the Code of Virginia, and implementing regulations under 16VAC25-60-110 for themselves or others.

B. No person shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee who voluntarily provides and wears the employee's own personal protective equipment, including, but not limited to, a respirator, face shield, gown, or gloves, provided that the PPE does not create a greater hazard to the employee or create a serious hazard for other employees. In situations where face coverings are not provided by the employer, no person shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee who voluntarily provides and wears the employee's own face covering that meets the requirements of this chapter, provided that the face covering does not create a greater hazard to the employee or create a serious hazard for other employees. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit an employer from establishing and enforcing legally permissible dress code or similar requirements addressing the exterior appearance of personal protective equipment or face coverings.

C. No person shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee who raises a reasonable concern about infection control related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease to the employer, the employer's agent, other employees, a government agency, or to the public such as through print, online, social, or any other media.

D. Nothing in this chapter shall limit an employee from refusing to do work or enter a location because of a reasonable fear of illness or death. The requirements of 16VAC25-60-110 contain the applicable requirements concerning discharge or discipline of an employee who has refused to complete an assigned task because of a reasonable fear of illness or death.

Statutory Authority

§ 40.1-22 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. January 27, 2021; amended, Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 3, eff. September 8, 2021.

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