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VA Business Law Bulletin

U.S. Capitol building
Feb 21, 2023

Commentary: New federal protections for pregnant and nursing employees

President Joe Biden has signed into law two measures that expand the rights of pregnant and breastfeeding workers: the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act. Both measures were included in the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act and will impose new federal requirements on employers with respect to […]

Employee receiving paycheck
Feb 14, 2023

Pay transparency laws spreading across country

Pay transparency laws are becoming increasingly common, and employers with workforces spread over multiple states are trying to figure out how to contend with a patchwork of similar — but not identical — provisions. The latest effort to close systemic pay gaps based on gender or race, transparency laws typically require employers to include salary […]

Documents from investigation
Feb 14, 2023

Improvements announced for labor enforcement investigations

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that noncitizen workers who claim that their rights as employees have been violated can now use a streamlined deferred action request process. Deferred action is intended to protect workers from threats of immigration-related retaliation from employers. Workers can visit for additional information in English and Spanish […]

3D printing concept
Feb 14, 2023

3D printing: New frontier in potential product liability claims

Companies employ 3D printing technology now more than ever, leveraging devices in pioneering ways. Its widespread usage helps businesses cut costs and manufacture products efficiently. At the same time, the legal landscape surrounding 3D printers is underdeveloped, so those who use the technology must be mindful of the potential for unintended and unforeseen consequences. 3D […]

Artificial intelligence
Feb 7, 2023

EEOC hearing explores benefits and harms of AI in employment decisions

The EEOC recently held a public hearing to examine the use of automated systems, including artificial intelligence (AI), in employment decisions. Increasingly, employers are using automated systems to make employment decisions, including the recruitment, hiring, monitoring, and firing of workers. During the hearing, titled “Navigating Employment Discrimination in AI and Automated Systems: A New [...]

Worker in trench (DEPOSIT PHOTOS)
Feb 7, 2023

Contractor’s failure to address hazards leads to $375K in OSHA fines

A federal investigation has found that a contractor’s failure to provide legally required safeguards and make sure they were in place to prevent trench collapses contributed to the 2022 death of an employee who was buried when an 8-foot-deep trench caved in. Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined that Botticello Inc. […]

Moakley U.S. Courthouse, Boston
Jan 31, 2023

Federal appeals court clarifies standard in FLSA overtime case

An employer should not have been granted summary judgment on claims for unpaid overtime because a lower court failed to use relational analysis to determine whether claimants were “administrative” employees exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided in reversing judgment. The U.S. Department of Labor […]

Whole Foods Market (DEPOSIT PHOTOS)
Jan 31, 2023

Lingering Black Lives Matter mask ban claims tossed

A federal judge has tossed the retaliation claims of three remaining plaintiffs suing Whole Foods for allegedly discriminating against employees who supported the right to wear Black Lives Matter facial masks in the workplace. Plaintiffs Savannah Kinzer, Haley Evans and Christopher Michno alleged that Whole Foods violated Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision by terminating them for […]

Meeting with employees
Jan 31, 2023

Growing companies should review their business structure

Setting up a new venture as, say, a sole proprietorship, may have made sense initially — but as a successful company grows, an outdated business structure could mean unnecessary tax and other costs. Ideally, a decision about a business structure will be done before an enterprise is even launched, according to Ted Carnevale, a partner […]

Drake University
Jan 23, 2023

FMLA doesn’t protect employee from all attendance, performance issues

While the Family and Medical Leave Act allows covered employees to take qualifying leave for their own or a family member’s serious health condition, it does not protect an employee from all issues related to performance and absences from work, a federal appeals court has ruled. In the case at hand, a Drake University employee […]

Delivery van
Jan 23, 2023

Supreme Court takes up religious accommodation test

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that calls into question a 1977 precedent that addresses when employers may reject employees’ religious accommodation requests. Under the Court’s ruling in Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, an employer may reject a requested religious accommodation under Title VII if it can demonstrate that it would […]

Noncompete agreement
Jan 23, 2023

Business attorneys questioning FTC noncompete ban

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent proposal to ban noncompete agreements has rocked the commercial world, leaving some business litigators questioning the wisdom of such a rule as well as its ultimate prospects of surviving review by the U.S. Supreme Court. The FTC unveiled the proposed rule following its approval for comment by a 3-1 vote […]

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