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VA Business Law Bulletin

Businessmen in masks bumping elbows
Jun 13, 2022

OSHA starts new COVID-19 enforcement program

OSHA has announced that COVID-19 enforcement is the agency’s top priority for 2022. The program will involve inspection of “high hazard” employers and further inspection of health care employers that have received COVID-19 complaints in the past. To open an inspection against an employer, OSHA must have a complaint, injury/illness report, or other “neutral” basis […]

Health insurance forms
Jun 13, 2022

Rule would make it easier for spouses, dependents to get health care coverage

It would be more affordable for many spouses and dependents who are currently covered under employer-sponsored family health insurance plans or currently uninsured to buy coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace, under a proposed rule issued by the U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS. Under the proposal, nonemployee family members would be eligible […]

Cybersecurity concept
Jun 13, 2022

Protecting yourself from growing cybersecurity threats

In recent years, we have witnessed a swift transformation as more of our finances have been brought online. Growth in digital banking accelerated during the COVID-19 lockdowns out of necessity, but this added convenience led to a new set of challenges related to cybersecurity risk. With more at stake, criminals became craftier in their approach […]

Employment contract
Jun 13, 2022

No actual controversy over employee’s noncompete

A media company salesperson has failed in her bid for a declaration that her noncompete with her former employer is invalid. The defendant employer was entitled to summary disposition because there was no actual controversy over whether the agreement could prevent the salesperson from accepting a position with another company, a state trial court ruled. […]

Zoom on laptop screen
Jun 7, 2022

Studies find EEOC’s move to virtual mediation successful

Two independent studies have found that the EEOC’s mediation program — including the transition from in-person to online mediation as a result of the pandemic — has been successful. Study participants said that they view the EEOC’s voluntary mediation program as highly effective, fair and neutral, and expressed strong satisfaction with the process. The studies […]

Jun 7, 2022

Union resurgence means employers must stay aware

A recent Gallup poll found that union approval is at the highest rate it has been since 1965, with 68% of Americans saying they approve of labor unions. From October 2021 through March 2022, the National Labor Relations Board reported that union representation petitions were up by 57% and unfair labor practice charges increased 14%. […]

Employee leaving after being fired
Jun 7, 2022

Discipline and discharge: Best practices for avoiding costly litigation

Disciplining and terminating employees are realities of doing business, but by adhering to certain practices, employers can help reduce the risk of costly litigation. Discipline or termination (often referred to as “adverse employment actions”) can give rise to allegations of unlawful discrimination or retaliation. Discrimination involves actions taken because of a worker’s protected charact[...]

Jun 7, 2022

Workplace harassment issues in a virtual world

Most individuals are familiar with online video games such as FIFA, Minecraft or Fortnite permitting players to play and communicate with others online while seated at their Xbox or PlayStation consoles. Augmented Realty (AR) games, such as Pokémon-GO, superimpose a digital setting into the players’ own real environment, incorporating virtual components into the real world […]

Documents from investigation
Jun 1, 2022

Employer must produce attorney’s investigation documents

A federal court judge has ordered a town that retained an attorney to investigate an employee’s hostile work environment complaints to respond to discovery requests about the investigation. Plaintiff Jennifer Berry Brown brought claims under Title VII and the Family and Medical Leave Act against the Town of Front Royal, Virginia. After Brown raised her […]

Businessmen shaking hands
Jun 1, 2022

The ins and outs of no-poach provisions

No-poach provisions are agreements that prohibit one company from hiring another company’s employees. This article addresses whether no-poach provisions violate applicable antitrust laws, and more specifically, the conditions under which no-poach provisions are legal. No-poach provisions are often horizontal restraints; that is, they constitute an agreement between or among competitors restricti[...]

Jun 1, 2022

Pending bill would ban hairstyle discrimination at work

Employees would be protected from discrimination based on natural hair and hairstyles associated with race and national origin, under a measure that has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is called, “The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act,” HR 2116. The measure addresses concerns associated with […]

Resigning employee packing up desk
Jun 1, 2022

Whistleblower’s constructive discharge claim can’t go forward

A recent decision from a state appellate court highlights how hard it is for an employee suing for constructive discharge to prove that they had no other option except for resigning. Constructive discharge occurs when an employee resigns because the employer has created a hostile work environment. So, even though the employee may have technically […]

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