There are a number of states which serve as laboratories for new types of employment laws that eventually may make it to the Commonwealth of Virginia and other jurisdictions. As we go through 2018, there are a number of new employment laws and bills that have been proposed or enacted by different states to improve employment conditions for employees. It should be interesting to see which ones eventually get enacted by Virginia or other counties and municipalities. Many of these laws take a few years to develop and get introduced in some form in Virginia. This article discusses them.
In Virginia, most employees are considered “at will” which usually means they can be terminated at any time and for any reason, unless illegal. Even if an employee is considered “at will” when an employee’s employment ends, an employer may offer severance to an employee in exchange for the employee’s waiver of his or her rights, including the right to file a lawsuit or other claim for any work-related issues. When dealing with severance agreements in Virginia, it is important to have a lawyer review them before they are signed. This article discusses the importance of hiring a severance agreement lawyer and how they can assist employees when they leave an employer. Continue reading →
Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst has introduced new legislation that he hopes will reduce incidents of workplace violence in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Specifically, Delegate Hurt has introduced legislation which would grant civil immunity to employers who share information about violent acts or threats made by current or former employees to potential employers or law enforcement.
By Kimberly H. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.comWhen an employee has been accused of engaging in workplace misconduct, the employer will sometimes conduct an administrative or internal investigation. Some reasons why employers investigate employees include discrimination complaints, threats against others, safety problems, and workplace theft. This article focuses on workplace investigations in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
We are often asked about whether or not a Virginia employer can require an applicant or employee to take a polygraph examination in regards to hiring or retention decisions. The answer, while generally no, has a number of implications for both Virginia employees and employers. It is important to obtain legal counsel on these issues prior to taking a polygraph examination when issues arise. This article discusses some of the issues that can arise in the context of attempting to require Virginia employees to take a polygraph examination related to their employment.
An interesting question that has arisen recently is whether Virginia employers can use non-compete agreements with independent contractors. The answer is not entirely clear. There are many potential pitfalls for both the independent contractors that sign such agreements and the employers that attempt to enforce them. An employer may discover that its fully executed non-compete agreement with an independent contractor is unenforceable, but also subject itself to significant liability for misclassifying an employee.
It is very difficult for an employee to be called into a supervisor’s office or to the human resources office unexpectedly and be informed that his/her employment has been terminated. Even if somewhat expected, it is almost always a shock to the employee when it happens. Following the notice of termination, usually the employee is escorted out of their building and is faced with a sense of bewilderment and loss. They may not even have time to gather their belongings. Continue reading →
The following is an article on leave laws and rules that cover Virginia employees. Leave issues generally tend to come up either during the course of an employee’s employment or immediately following the end of an individual’s employment. Leave laws and regulations also vary by the type of employer and jurisdiction of the employer. For instance, federal, state, county and private sector employers have different laws and rules governing leave.
An interesting topic in Virginia employment law involves an employee’s right to privacy within the workplace. While there have not yet been many specific laws enacted by the Commonwealth of Virginia governing employee rights in the workplace, this area of law is developing and changing almost as fast as technology is. In light of the advancements in monitoring technology available to employers, it is only a matter of time before we see more employee privacy issues addressed by the Virginia Legislature and our court system.