Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Act (§§ 40.1-49.3 thru 51.3)

As a courtesy to employers and employment lawyers, The Employment Law Chronicle provides links to the text of key Federal, Virginia, and District of Columbia labor and employment laws published on government sites.

Pursuant to the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), Virginia has received approval for the Virginia OSHA program. In addition to adopting the federal standards almost verbatim, Virginia has enacted additional safety and health requirements. As a consequence, all Virginia employers are required to: (a) comply with numerous safety and health regulations; and (b) comply with the “general duty clause,” which requires employers to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical injury.”

Links to select provisions of the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Act are provided below:

VA Code § 40.1-49.8. Duties of employers. This provision describes the employer’s duty to provide a safe workplace free from recognized hazards. It also describes disclosure, notice and reporting requirements.VA Code § 40.1-51.2. Rights and duties of employees. This provision explains employees’ obligations to comply with all workplace health and safety rules and regulations. It also provides employees with the right to report workplace health and safety violations.

VA Code § 40.1-51.2:1. Discrimination against employee for exercising rights prohibited. This provision protects whistleblowers as follows:

No person shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee because the employee has filed a safety or health complaint or has testified or otherwise acted to exercise rights under the safety and health provisions of this title for themselves or others.

VA Code § 40.1-51.2:2. Remedy for discrimination. This provision states the procedures and remedies for filing whistleblower claims for reporting workplace safety and health violations. In general, the employee has 60 days to file a complaint.