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Virginia Issues “Stay at Home” Executive Order

On March 30, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 55, which incrementally increases the restrictions previously placed on Virginia businesses and residents in response to the current COVID-19 crisis.

Virginia Governor Issues Stay at Home Order

Executive Summary: As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect business around the country, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Fifty-Five on Monday, March 30, 2020, ordering all Virginians to stay at their place of residence unless leaving their homes to obtain food, supplies, or medical care, or for exercise. Governor Northam’s Order does not rescind or affect Executive Order Fifty-Three, issued on March 23, 2020, which ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, nor does it apply to gatherings of family members living in the same residence. This Order took immediate effect on March 30, 2020, and will extend until June 10, 2020, unless rescinded by subsequent order.

Virginia Aims to Slow Down Spread of Coronavirus in Conjunction with Neighboring States with Stay at Home Order

On March 30, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Number 55, “Temporary Stay at Home Order Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

New Virginia Executive Order, Federal Leave Law Responding to COVID-19 Raises New Issues for Employers

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently issued an executive order closing all K-12 schools through the end of the school year and temporarily closing or restricting public-access areas in non-essential businesses. The EO also limited daycare operations to groups no larger than 10 and encouraged daycare space to be prioritized for all essential personnel with daycare needs.

Virginia Places Temporary Restrictions on Businesses within the Commonwealth and Closes K-12 Schools for the Remainder of the School Year

On March 23, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 53, which places restrictions on the operation of nonessential retail businesses from 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 through 11:59 p.m., Thursday, April 23, 2020. The Order also prohibits all public and private in-person gatherings of 10 or more people during that same time period and closes all K through 12 schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Virginia Governor Orders Temporary Restrictions on Certain Businesses, Closure of K-12 Schools

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced Executive Order Number Fifty-Three, putting into place temporary restrictions on restaurants, recreational, entertainment, gatherings, and non-essential retail business. The Order closes K-12 schools for the rest of the school year, becoming the second state, behind Kansas, to do so. This Order goes into effect on 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020, and will remain in effect until April 23, 2020.

Virginia Announces Closure of Non-Essential Businesses and K-12 Schools

Summary: On March 23, 2020, the Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Fifty-Three, which orders the closure of certain non-essential businesses, bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closes all K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year. Governor Northam has also urged all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home.

Virginia Opens Door to Collective Bargaining for Public Employees

The Virginia General Assembly has passed legislation that paves the way for Virginia counties, cities, and towns to adopt local ordinances or resolutions authorizing collective bargaining with labor unions on behalf of public officers and employees. The bill is awaiting Governor Ralph Northam’s signature.

CROWN “Love” – Virginia Latest State to Ban Hairstyle Discrimination

On March 4, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed HB 1514/SB 50 into law, which expands the Virginia Human Rights Act’s definition of racial discrimination to include traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles. Virginia’s law will become effective on July 1, 2020.

Virginia Passes Law Defining Racial Discrimination to Include Hairstyles, Other Historic Traits

Virginia has become the fourth state (joining California, New Jersey, and New York) to define racial discrimination to include traits historically associated with race, such as hairstyles. The new Virginia law will go into effect on July 1, 2020.

Virginia Clarifies New Requirement for Wage Payment Statements Applies to All Employees

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) has clarified that the requirement to provide employees with a detailed, written statement for each regular pay date applies to all employees, regardless of whether they are exempt or non-exempt.

How Might Virginia’s New Legislative Trifecta Affect Employers in the Commonwealth in 2020?

In the November 2019 election Virginia gained a Democratic “trifecta”—both legislative chambers and the governorship are now controlled by one political party. It has been over two decades since Democratic lawmakers constituted the majority in the Commonwealth. What will this mean for Virginia employers during the coming year?

Virginia’s New Restrictions on Nondisclosure, Confidentiality Agreements Affect the Workplace

A new Virginia statute limits employers’ use of nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements with respect to “sexual assault” as a condition of employment.

Virginia Task Force Releases Recommendations to Address Worker Misclassification

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Inter-Agency Taskforce on Worker Misclassification and Payroll Fraud has offered 11 recommendations in its report on employee misclassification.

New Virginia Amendment Requires Employers to Produce Certain Employment Documents

On March 21, 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam approved an amendment and reenactment of Virginia Code § 8.01-413.1. The amendment requires employers to produce certain employment documents upon receipt of a written request from a current or former employee or employee’s attorney and awards possible damages to the employee if the employer fails to do so within the prescribed timeframe. Since the amendment became effective on July 1, 2019, Virginia employers are seeing an uptick in requests for the applicable documents.

Change to Virginia Wage Payment Statements on the Horizon

Beginning January 1, 2020, employers in Virginia must provide paystubs to employees on “each regular pay date.”

Virginia Employers Required to Provide Copies of Employment Records Upon Written Request

On July 1, 2019, a new amendment to Virginia Code Section 8.01-413.1 will take effect. For the first time, all Virginia employers will be required to provide copies of employment records to employees upon written request. Records reflecting dates of employment, wages or salary during employment, job description and job title and any injuries sustained by the employee during employment must now be provided within 30 days of receipt of a written request from the employee, current or former, or the employee’s attorney.

Virginia Attempts, Maryland Succeeds, in Limiting Non-Competes For Low-Wage Employees

In numerous states throughout the country, legislatures are moving to limit the use and enforcement of non-compete and other restrictive covenant agreements. Two such states, Maryland and Virginia, are seeking to curtail such agreements with regard to low-wage employees.

Virginia Updates its Data Breach Notification Law to Include Tax Preparers

For the second consecutive year Virginia has amended its data breach notification law. In March 2017, in light of a warning issued by the IRS to all employers regarding the resurgence of a W-2 based cyber scam, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe approved, a first of its kind, amendment to Virginia’s data breach notification statute. The amendment required employers and payroll service providers to notify the Virginia Office of the Attorney General of “unauthorized access and acquisition of unencrypted computerized data containing a taxpayer identification number in combination with the income tax withheld for an individual”.

Virginia Responds to W-2 Phishing Scams with First of Its Kind Notification Requirement

As previously highlighted, in early February, the IRS issued a warning to all employers regarding the resurgence of a W-2 based cyber scam. Since the IRS warning, this type of scam has taken numerous victims.

The Funny Guy Case is No Laughing Matter: Virginia Supreme Court Applies Res Judicata in Rejecting Contract Claim

The Supreme Court of Virginia recently issued an opinion applying the principles of res judicata to affirm the dismissal of a contract claim. In The Funny Guy, LLC v. Lecego, LLC, No. 160242 (Feb. 16, 2017), the plaintiff filed a second lawsuit asserting alternative legal claims after its first lawsuit was dismissed. The court held that if alternative claims qualify for joinder under the “same transaction or occurrence” standard, they likewise constitute res judicata under Rule 1:6 of the Supreme Court of Virginia. This decision has significant implications for litigants in Virginia courts, especially in cases involving settlement agreements.

Virginia Governor Issues Executive Order to Combat Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination Among State Contractors

Virginia law does not currently prohibit discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity. However, as Governor Terry McAuliffe stated in a news release on January 5, 2017, “Starting today, the Commonwealth of Virginia will not do business with entities that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” As a result, employers seeking to conduct business with the Commonwealth will now need to revamp their antidiscrimination policies to obtain procurement contracts valued at more than $10,000.

Virginia OSHA Errs in Drafting Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements

Federal OSHA’s Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements (effective January 1, 2015) require employers to report in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye within 24 hours.

Blocked: Managing Social Media at Work Under Virginia’s New Privacy Law

With social media pervading all facets of society (no less than 67 percent of Americans are regular users), businesses have long been concerned with their employees’ potentially detrimental social media activities. As these concerns proliferated among Virginia’s business community, many employers saw fit to demand access to their applicants’ and employees’ social media accounts. Privacy activists cried foul and, in response, Virginia joined dozens of other states last month by imposing limits on employer access to such accounts. This new law demands careful response by employers and those advising them.

State Employment Laws That Every Virginia Employer Should Know

Keeping track of the latest changes to federal employment laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), to name just a few, is hard enough. But employers sometimes forget that there are also specific state laws, some of which differ significantly from federal laws that can land them in just as much trouble for noncompliance.

New Law Restricts Employer Access to Employee Social Media Accounts, Including Through “Friend Requests”

On March 23, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a new law, H.B. 2081, that restricts the ability of employers in Virginia to access the social media accounts of current and prospective employees—making Virginia the nineteenth state to enact such legislation. The other 18 states include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Ferreting Out the Frauds: a Virginia Court Orders Yelp To Identify Anonymous Users

Social media is widely used in the hospitality industry for everything from promoting sales to recruiting new talent. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, and a number of other sites provide hoteliers and restaurateurs with nearly limitless access to local, national, and international audiences.
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