Long Gap Not Fatal To Retaliation Claim

A retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) requires that there be protected activity, a materially adverse employment action, and a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action.  An employee engages in protected activity when, for example, he opposes an unlawful employment practice or participates in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing regarding conduct that is proscribed by...
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The COVID Cases are Coming, the COVID Cases are Coming!

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
08/23/2021
And so it has begun.  Unless you just arrived from another planet, you know that we’ve been in COVID world for about 18 months.  The lawsuits involving employee behavior, and employer reactions to that behavior, during the pandemic are being filed and decided in state and federal courts.  Here’s one where a physician assistant’s (PA) unprofessional behavior in the early months of COVID led to his termination.  Unwilling or unable to accept...
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Virginia Employers Must Post Reasonable Accommodations Poster In Workplace

As of July 1, 2021, covered Virginia employers are required by the Virginia Office of Civil Rights to post the newly issued poster in a conspicuous location and provide a copy of the poster to any employee who discloses they have a disability, within ten (10) days of the employee's disclosure.  This information about reasonable accommodations must also be included in their employee handbooks.   A covered employer for purposes of this requirement...
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Fourth Circuit Decision Protecting Transgender Student Rights Stands After Supreme Court Denies Review

On June 28, 2021, the Supreme Court denied the Gloucester County, Virginia School Board’s petition to review Gloucester Co. Sch'l Bd. v. Grimm, No. 20-1163.  The denial leaves a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ s ruling intact, making it unlawful in this jurisdiction (South Carolina, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia) to prohibit students from using  bathroom facilities that align with their gender identity....
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New Virginia Overtime Law Takes Effect July 1

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
06/21/2021
On July 1, 2021, Virginia’s new Overtime Wage Act will take effect.  Employers with employees  in Virginia need to review the way in which they calculate overtime for salaried non-exempt employees, as the new law makes it impermissible to use the FLSA’s “fixed salary for fluctuating workweek” methodology that allows employers to pay a half-time premium for overtime hours. The new law was signed by Governor Northam or March 30, 2021, and...
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Virginia Enacts Required Paid Sick Leave for Home-Healthcare Workers

Jordan Dunham
Jordan Dunham
06/09/2021
On June 1, 2021, Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law House Bill 2137.  The law, once effective on July 1, 2021, will be codified in at Virginia Code §§ 40.1-33.3 through 40.1-33.6. Virginia employers, defined under VA Code § 40.1-2 as “an individual, partnership, association, corporation, legal representative, receiver, trustee, or trustee in bankruptcy doing business in or operating within this Commonwealth who employs another to work for...
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The Perils of Common Sense – Judge Permits Age Discrimination Suit to Go to Trial

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
10/22/2020
A recent case from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division,  demonstrates that employers must always choose their words carefully, especially when they’re about to fire poor-performing employees. In Granet v. Presidio, Inc.,  Civil Action No. 3:19-cv-821, the plaintiff was a 54-year old account manager who alleged that his former employer forced him to resign due to his age.  Presidio countered...
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Fourth Circuit Rules That A Retaliation Claim Cannot Be Brought Under Equal Protection Clause

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
08/19/2020
Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed for the first time whether a retaliation claim can be brought against a government employer under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The answer? No. The female plaintiff, a former Deputy Commonwealth Attorney for Carroll County, Virginia, brought a Section 1983 claim against her former employer under the theory that she was fired in retaliation for reporting sex...
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Virginia COVID-19 Worker Protection Rule Takes Effect

On July 27, Virginia became the first state in the United States to implement a COVID-19 workplace safety rule.  The new rules require employers covered by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program to immediately comply with guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state-issued regulations. The standard applies to most Virginia workplaces, including retail employees, office workers, and persons...
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Sweeping Changes to Virginia Employment Law Set to Take Effect July 1st

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
06/17/2020
This most recent General Assembly session saw a dramatic shift in the employment law landscape in Virginia. Through a number of new bills, Virginia has transitioned from a very “employer friendly” state to one that is significantly more “employee friendly.”  With the exception of the public sector collective bargaining law, the legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2020. Below is a summary of the most significant...
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