It’s #WorkforceWednesday. This week, Virginia became the first state to issue workplace safety standards, but with guidance still varying widely, many nationwide businesses have begun requiring masks.

Video: YouTubeVimeoMP4Instagram.

Podcast: Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayOvercastSpotifyStitcher.

Virginia Issues COVD-19 Workplace Safety Mandates

As employers grapple with a lack of clear or consistent governmental guidance on how to reopen businesses, last week, Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry adopted the first set of coronavirus-related workplace safety mandates in the country.

Remember: COVID-19 Safety Training

At least 15 states, including California, Illinois, Connecticut, and New York, as well as certain cities, have mandated coronavirus return to work safety training. Most jurisdictions include specific content requirements for the training, such as identifying COVID-19 symptoms, when to seek medical attention, and procedures for preventing its spread at the workplace.

Masks Now Required at Major Retailers

With regulations varying widely across states and cities, businesses have begun implementing their own nationwide policies. This week, Walmart began requiring all of its customers and employees to wear masks in its Walmart and Sam’s Club locations, joining companies like Starbucks, Best Buy, and Costco.

Other Highlights

NYC Requests Masks Except at Home

New York City’s new frequently asked questions on face coverings ramp up mask use recommendations by encouraging anyone in New York City to wear a mask in any indoor setting that is not their home. Click here for more.

Other COVID-19 Requirements for Retailers and Hospitality

Industry-related requirements have been implemented in various states and municipalities—such as Connecticut’s hotels and restaurants, Illinois’ health and fitness centers, and New Jersey’s retailers—as employers begin to plan for reopening and staff return to the workplace. Dive deeper.

Wage and Hour Update: Western Region Edition

  • California continues to focus on AB5 enforcement. This time, it brought a lawsuit against an app-based car washing service alleging the company “made a calculated business decision to misclassify” car washers. Read more
  • Colorado enacted a broad paid sick leave law that provides employees with three new sick leave entitlements: (i) Paid Sick Leave related to COVID-19, (ii) a state-wide Paid Sick Leave, and (iii) Supplemental Public Health Emergency Paid Sick Leave.
  • Washington State’s updated criteria for workers to be exempt from receiving overtime pay, paid sick leave, and other requirements under the state Minimum Wage Act are now in effect. These changes apply to executive, administrative, and professional workers, as well as outside salespeople and computer professionals across all industries in the state.

Stay Up to Date

Our Coronavirus Resource Center is updated daily and has the return-to-work resources you need.

About Employment Law This Week

Employment Law This Week® gives a rundown of the top developments in employment and labor law and workforce management in a matter of minutes every #WorkforceWednesday. 


Prefer to Listen?

You can subscribe to Employment Law This Week episodes on your preferred podcast platform – Amazon Music / AudibleApple Podcasts, Audacy, DeezerGoogle PodcastsiHeartRadio, Overcast, PandoraPlayer FM, Spotify.

Spread the Word


Would your colleagues, professional network, or friends benefit from #WorkforceWednesday? Please like and share the edition each week on LinkedInFacebook, X, and YouTube, and encourage your connections to subscribe for email notifications.

Trouble viewing the video? Please contact thisweek@ebglaw.com and mention whether you were at home or working within a corporate network. We'd also love your suggestions for topics and guests!

EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.

Back to Series
Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.