D.C. requires employers to adopt COVID-19 worker protection policies, increases retaliation protections

A new D.C. emergency law titled “Protecting Businesses and Workers from COVID-19 Emergency Amendment Act of 2020” (Act), signed by the Mayor on August 13, 2020, requires all private employers and D.C. agencies to take measures to protect workers from COVID-19 transmission. The Act requires employers immediately to adopt and implement worker protection policies related to social distancing and face coverings. Many employers have already developed workplace safety policies to comply with guidance issued by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration); however, the Act now makes certain safety policies mandatory. The Act also increases retaliation protections for certain employee conduct related to COVID-19. The Act is effective until November 10, 2020, and may be extended.

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