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Virginia Employment Law

New Virginia Anti-Discrimination Law Expands Coverage and Allows Employees to Sue for Damages in State Court

On April 11, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law the Virginia Values Act.  While the law has been heralded for making Virginia the first Southern state to enact comprehensive protections for LGBTQ persons, the law also amends the Virginia Human Rights Act (“VHRA”) to create a new private right of action for employment […]

Virginia General Assembly Passes Bill Authorizing Public Sector Collective Bargaining

As the 2020 Session came to a close this weekend, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation authorizing  local governments to enact laws giving their employees the right to collectively bargain.  If, as expected, it is signed by Governor Northam, employees of Virginia counties, cities, towns and school boards will gain the opportunity to require their […]

Virginia General Assembly Passes Legislation Prohibiting Worker Misclassification

The Virginia General Assembly is considering legislation that will create new civil penalties for employers who improperly classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees.  The two bills, H.B. 1407 and S.B 744, have been approved by the House and Senate. Once the two versions are reconciled, the legislation is expected to be signed by […]

Virginia Employer Dodges FMLA Bullet

A recent FMLA case out of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia brings to mind the expression “its better to be lucky than good.”  In the case of Trail v. Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company, No. 1:18CV00037 (W.D. Va. 1/8/20),  a Southwest Virginia manufacturer succeeded in getting a former employee’s FMLA  […]

Supervisor’s Hugs & Kisses Were Assault & Battery, Were Not Harassment Under Title VII

A federal court in Virginia recently found that a former employee of the Department of Veterans Services (DVS) presented enough evidence that her supervisor’s hugs and kisses comprised an assault and battery against her, but not enough to establish sexual harassment or hostile work environment under Title VII.  Back v. Commonwealth of Virginia, et al., […]

Virginia School Teacher Fails to Prove Discrimination

An Arlington County  pre-kindergarten school teacher saw his claim of gender discrimination rejected by a federal court  when the County did not renew his contract due to poor performance.  In Ostrem v. Arlington County School Board, Judge Hilton of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted summary judgment to the […]

Court Rejects Virginia Tech’s Argument That EEOC Acted Too Quickly in Dismissing EEOC Charge

As most parties who have been before the EEOC know, it can often take many months, if not years, for the agency to complete its investigation of a charge of discrimination.  However, there are times where the EEOC moves very quickly to dismiss a charge.  That is exactly what happened earlier this year in a […]

Documentation of Performance Issues Defeats Employee’s Claims of Retaliation

Employers may find it concerning when their employees with performance issues also complain of workplace discrimination.  A recent decision out of the Eastern District of Virginia illustrates how progressive discipline, documentation of employee work performance problems, and investigation of employee workplace complaints can help protect employers in the long run.  Gooding-Williams v. Fairfax County School […]

Virginia Court Dismisses Late-Filed Discrimination Suit

The Americans With Disabilities Act, like most other federal anti-discrimination statutes, requires that an employee file suit within 90 days of their receipt of a Right to Sue Notice from the Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission.  A Virginia man recently found out that federal courts take this requirement seriously when the United States District Court for […]