General Assembly passes pandemic protections for employees, tenants

Megan Schiffres

by Megan Schiffres

RICHMOND—Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have passed legislation establishing protections for employees and tenants due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 virus pandemic last week.

These bills are intended to protect the safety and financial stability of employees working during the pandemic, and to prevent mass evictions that would otherwise occur due to widespread job loss caused by the impact of the virus on the Commonwealth’s economy.

Employee protections

Like the rest of the U.S., Virginia is experiencing an unemployment crisis due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in July Virginia had an unemployment rate of 8%, compared to a rate of 2.7% last year. As employees are let go or furloughed across the Commonwealth due to circumstances beyond their control, representatives in the General Assembly are advancing legislation to protect the financial and physical safety of workers.

Senate Bill 5107, to extend a short-term compensation program that provides employees who have the hours they normally work reduced due to the pandemic with partial repayment for lost wages, was passed by the Senate, 34-3. Most of this bill was already…

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