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VA Business Law Bulletin

Man driving forklift in warehouse
Jul 19, 2023

OSHA citation vacated in fatal forklift incident

A federal appeals court has issued a significant decision regarding online pet retailer Chewy, Inc.’s liability under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Staff reduction
Jul 19, 2023

Manager fails to show age was reason for termination

Where the record showed an employee’s position was eliminated because of a need to downsize and because he scored the lowest of three sales managers on a decision matrix, a federal trial court in Virgnia concluded that his age discrimination and retaliation claims could not go forward.

Employee's weekly time sheet
Jul 6, 2023

Manufacturer hammered with record FLSA verdict

A federal jury found that East Penn Manufacturing, one of the world’s largest battery manufacturers, violated federal law by failing to compensate employees for time spent on pre- and post-shift activities. The jury awarded back wages of more than $22 million to the Department of Labor (DOL) on behalf of more than 7,500 employees working […]

Open office area
Jul 6, 2023

USCIS provides guidance on employment authorization under ‘compelling circumstances’

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released policy guidance that could help certain foreign-born workers receive or renew an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The guidance addressed “compelling circumstances” for principal applicants and their dependents. While employment authorization for certain noncitizens is automatically provided by virtue of their immigrati[...]

Reaching business agreement
Jul 6, 2023

Court denies employer’s motion to compel arbitration

An employer’s motion to compel arbitration of a former employee’s discrimination claim should be denied because there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the plaintiff agreed to arbitration, a federal court in Michigan has held. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan terminated Ryan Romano after he sought a religious exemption to the […]

Artificial intelligence
Jul 5, 2023

Expect a patchwork of state and local AI hiring laws

A New York City law going into effect this month will regulate how companies use artificial intelligence (AI) software in the hiring process. The city passed the law in 2021 but didn’t adopt specific rules until April of this year. Per the regulations, companies must notify candidates when an AI system is being used and […]

National Labor Relations Board
Jul 5, 2023

NLRB redefines entrepreneur issue in contractor status

A June decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could make it easier for workers to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. The board’s ruling in Atlanta Opera, Inc. and Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Union, Local 798, IATSE marks a return to a previous test for worker classification. In the decision, […]

Insurance policy documents
Jul 5, 2023

$630 million legal-malpractice claim can proceed

A trial judge in Massachusetts has ruled that a partner in a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund can bring a malpractice claim against law firm Proskauer Rose for incorporating a provision in his limited partnership agreement that enabled the fund’s general partner to strip him of his stake by carrying out certain permitted transactions. Plaintiff Robert Adelman, […]

Jun 27, 2023

More Americans testing positive for marijuana after workplace accidents

The percentage of American employees testing positive for marijuana following a workplace accident has reached its highest level in 25 years, according to a new report from Quest Diagnostics. Researchers reviewed the results of more than 10.6 million samples taken from the U.S. workforce in 2022. They found that 7.3 percent of workers tested positive […]

Employee noncompete agreement
Jun 27, 2023

NRLB general counsel says noncompetes are generally unlawful

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a memorandum asserting that noncompete agreements generally violate a worker’s right to engage in collective action to improve their working conditions, as protected under the National Labor Relations Act. The memorandum, promulgated on May 30, 2023, falls in line with other state and federal actions intended to curb […]

Commercial real estate construction project
Jun 27, 2023

Can artificial intelligence be trusted to draft a construction contract?

If you ask one of the leading artificial intelligence chatbots, ChatGPT, if you should rely on it to draft a construction contract, it responds that it is “highly recommended to hire a construction attorney rather than relying solely on ChatGPT or any AI model to draft a construction contract.” As support, ChatGPT provides a handful […]

Signs for labor strike
Jun 21, 2023

Supreme Court: Unions must take precautions to protect company property

The U.S. Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision, has held that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not prevent a company from filing a lawsuit in state court alleging intentional destruction of property by a union during a labor dispute. The court ruled that the act does not protect a union’s failure to take […]

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