Merritt Green

Merritt Green is founder of General Counsel PC in McLean. 

Many Virginia employers are still unaware that they need to comply with the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard.  Luckily, local businesses have created the VES Forms Generator available at CovidCompliancePlans to easily and inexpensively help.

On July 15Virginia adopted the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard.  As stated by Gov. Ralph Northam, “Keeping Virginians safe at work is not only a critical part of stopping the spread of this virus, it’s key to our economic recovery and it’s the right thing to do.”  The Standard establishes requirements for employers to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

ALL Virginia Employers MUST comply with the Emergency Temporary Standard by Aug. 26 (for higher-risk employers, an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan must also be in effect by September 25).  Compliance requires implementing written policies, procedures and employee training.  Failure to comply could result in fines as high as $135,000 for repeat or willful violations.  

However, avoiding fines is only one reason to make sure your company is complying with the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard.  A more important reason is to demonstrate to your employees and clients your commitment to their health and safety.  Your employees will be more comfortable returning to work (and continuing to work) if your company can certify that it has complied with the Virginia COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standards. 

Likewise, if customers know that you are working to provide a safe environment, they will respect your business and be more likely to purchase your goods or services.  Finally, compliance with the Virginia COVID-19 standards shows a good-faith effort by your business to protect your employees and customers that could be used to defend legal claims against the company (an affirmative defense). (On the other hand, failure to comply could be used as evidence to establish liability since minimum governmental standards were not satisfied.)

McLean-based businesses General Counsel, P.C. and Business Compliance LLC have created the Virginia Emergency Standard Forms Generator (“VES Forms Generator”) to help Virginia employers easily and inexpensively generate the tools to comply with the Emergency Standard. 

Merritt Green, owner of General Counsel PC, stated: “As we reviewed the requirements of the Temporary Standard and spoke with clients, we realized that clients were either unaware or confused of the Emergency Standards’ requirements.  Further, we recognized that requiring each Virginia business to individually complete the necessary documentation would be impossible – companies would simply be overwhelmed which would result in non-compliance and the failure to satisfy the goals of the Emergency Standard – creating a safe environment for Virginia employers, employees and customers.  We wanted to create a solution.” 

Accordingly, we developed the Virginia Emergency Standard Forms Generator (“VES Forms Generator”) to help Virginia employers.  By answering just a few simple questions, Virginia employers will be provided a roadmap and documentation needed to comply with the Emergency Standard.  Virginia companies can also visit www.covidcomplianceforms.com for information and access to the VES Forms Generator

J.M., an owner of an IT Consulting company, wrote: “Thanks, these forms are great.  They are awesome.”  And, D.S., the owner of an estate sales company, wrote: “I wanted to thank you for making us aware of the Virginia COVID-19 document requirements and giving us an easy way to comply.  It took less than 15 minutes to submit the necessary information, make payment, and receive the necessary documents.”

All Virginia employers must comply with the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard to help Virginia recover and thrive.  CovidComplianceForms and the VES Forms Generator give employers the tools. 

 Merritt Green is founder of General Counsel PC of McLean, a full-service law firm providing comprehensive legal services for businesses ranging from start-up to multi-billion dollar organizations. He can be reached at mgreen@gcpc.com.

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