Delegate Ayala introduced legislation that required employers of “essential workers” to pay hazard pay after an executive order is issued which includes a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order. This means that employers must compensate essential workers at a rate of at least one and one-half times that workers regular rate of pay for any hours worked during the closure order. In addition, PPE must be provided for essential workers as well. Under this legislation, an essential worker is an individual employed as a health care provider, home care provider, airport worker, or employed by an essential retail business. This legislation was defeated in House Appropriations Committee because of the large fiscal impact that it would have on the State Budget.
- Requires, that following the declaration by the Governor of a state of emergency that includes or is followed by any additional executive order in furtherance of such declaration that includes a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order, employers shall (i) compensate each of their essential workers at a rate not less than one and one-half times the essential worker's regular rate of pay for any hours worked during the closure order and (ii) provide their essential workers with personal protective equipment related to the state of emergency and recommended for the relevant work site or job task by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, the State Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The bill defines "essential worker" as an individual employed as a health care provider, home care provider, or airport worker or by an essential retail business, as specified in the bill. The bill subjects violators to the same civil penalties, and provides the same cause of action for an employer's failure to pay the required hazard pay, as are currently imposed for failing to pay wages generally.