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Virginia Employment Law

Virginia Federal Court Enforces Non-Compete Agreement

As a general rule, Virginia courts are reluctant to enforce non-compete agreements because they are disfavored restraints on trade. However, when the agreements are narrowly tailored, restrictive covenants will be enforced. A recent decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia provides good guidance as to what type of agreement […]

Pharmacy Not Liable for Employee’s Defamatory Statements Made In The Workplace

Under the theory of vicarious liability, employers can be held responsible for an employee’s wrongful conduct provided he is acting within the scope of his employment.   But as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reminded us this week, not all workplace conduct which gives rise to a lawsuit against an employee, gives rise to one […]

Court Dismisses Grumpy Hospital Clerk’s Claim of Age Discrimination

On March 12, 2018, a Virginia federal court dismissed a claim of age discrimination brought by a 54 year old woman who had worked for Norton Community Hospital as an admissions clerk for nearly 23 years.  In Moore v. Mountain States Health Alliance, et. al., No. 2:16CV00014 (W.D. Va. 2018), Judge James Jones granted summary […]

Virginia General Assembly Considering Legislation To Limit Liability for Disclosing Threats of Workplace Violence

On January 17, 2018, Delegate Chris Hurst of Blacksburg  introduced legislation that would grant civil immunity to employers who share information about violent acts or threats made by current or former employees to prospective employers or law enforcement agencies.   The proposed legislation, House Bill No. 1457, would also grant civil immunity to employers who rely […]

Red Cross Stuck With Phlebotomist’s Retaliatory Discharge Claim

On July 14, 2017, a Norfolk federal judge denied a motion to dismiss a former Red Cross employee’s claim that her employer fired her for reporting what she believed were health and safety violations committed by her supervisor.  Easterbrooks v. American Red Cross, No. 2:17cv98 (E.D.  Va. 2017). Judge Raymond Jackson ruled that plaintiff Julie […]

Virginia Court Refuses to Dismiss Jeweler’s Bowman Claim

Virginia courts recognize a narrow exception to the employment at will doctrine for employees who claim to have been discharged  in violation of public policy. Known as Bowman claims (after the seminal 1985 Bowman v. State Bank of Keysville decision),  employees can bring a claim for “wrongful discharge” if they can show that a statute expressly or implicitly […]

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 […]