Micah Schwartz Comments on Pandemic Workplace Protections for Colleges

August 12, 2020

McGuireWoods Charlottesville counsel Micah Schwartz was quoted in a July 30, 2020, Inside Higher Ed story about the congressional divide on federal pandemic workplace safety regulations and what it means for colleges and universities.

With the potential return of students, faculty and staff to campuses across the country, the article focused on whether a safe reopening of campuses is possible.

Because of the divide between Republican and Democratic proposals for another coronavirus relief package and a perceived lack of clear regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on the national level, many states are moving to issue pandemic-specific workplace safety regulations. Virginia was the first state to lay out specific rules and requirements. Schwartz said the Virginia law requires higher education institutions to meet at least the new state standards.

The creation of national OSHA regulations would likely include much of what colleges already are doing, and would likely add to their administrative work, he said, but it would also give employees recourse if colleges aren’t following the rules.