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Virginia Employment Law

Employer Lawfully Fired Employee for Making Harassment Claim

Sex, lies, but no videotape.  A Virginia restaurant was faced with this juicy but difficult harassment investigation involving several current and former employees.  After sorting out the sordid claims, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that employers who honestly believe, after investigation, that employees have made false harassment complaints are permitted to use their business judgment […]

Appellate Court Rules Employee Can Sue City of Alexandria as Joint Employer Under FMLA

It is no secret that businesses today are increasingly outsourcing human resources functions in an effort to cut costs.  But absent careful planning, the outsourcing employer may still bear legal liability for workplace discrimination issues.  Here’s what the Fourth Circuit had to say about the subject in a case decided this week.  Quintana v. City […]

Virginia Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Bowman Claim Based on Protective Order Statutes

On February 23, 2017, the Virginia Supreme Court sustained a demurrer to a complaint alleging a Bowman claim of wrongful termination.  Francis v. National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences, Inc. No. 160267.  The Court rejected an employee’s claims that the public policy embodied in Virginia Code §§ 19.2-152.7:1 through 19.2-152.10 (the Protective Order […]

Virginia Court Strikes Down Homebuilder’s Non-Compete Agreement

On February 14, 2017, a federal judge denied a home builders’ motion for a preliminary injunction to stop a former employee covered by a non-compete agreement from working for a competing builder.  Applying Virginia law, Judge Liam O’Grady of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, ruled that the […]

Court Enforces Hair Club Non-Compete

A federal court in Alexandria, Virginia enforced a  non-compete clause against a former employee of Hair Club for Men in Tysons Corner who stole 25 clients and set up a competing hair replacement business.  Hair Club for Men, LLC v. Ehson, et. al., No. 1:16-cv-236 (E.D.Va. Aug. 31, 2016).   However, the Court found Hair Club’s  […]

Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Punitive Damage Award

On September 8, 2016, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that an employee who sues his employer for retaliatory discharge under Code §40.1-51.2:1 after making a health or safety complaint is not entitled to an award of punitive damages.  Property Damage Specialists Inc. v. Rechichar.    The Court reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court for […]

EEOC Rules That “Don’t Tread On Me” Hat Might Be Racially Offensive

According to an article in the Washington Post, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that an employee may create a racially hostile work environment by wearing a hat depicting the “Gasden Flag” (a coiled rattlesnake and the phrase “Don’t Tread On Me”).  Sheldon D. v. Brennan, 2016 WL 3361228. The Gasden Flag, which gained […]