Labor & Employment

The ARPA Extends and Expands the FFCRA Paid Leave and Tax Credit for Employers Who Opt To Use It

The ARPA Extends and Expands the FFCRA Paid Leave and Tax Credit for Employers Who Opt To Use It

Buried in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the massive COVID relief bill signed into law on March 11, 2021, is a provision allowing employers to continue to provide, voluntarily, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave and claim the corresponding tax credits through September 30, 2021. As the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020, no employers are required to provide the FFCRA paid ...
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2021 Special Session Imposes New Obligations on Employers Under the Virginia Human Rights Act

2021 Special Session Imposes New Obligations on Employers Under the Virginia Human Rights Act

The 2021 Virginia General Assembly Special Session wrapped up earlier this month with a number of changes that will impact employers. Among the bills that have been signed into law is HB 1848, which amends the Virginia Human Rights Act (“VHRA”). The new law implements two main changes to the VHRA: (1) including discrimination on the basis of disability as an unlawful discriminatory practice; and ...
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OSHA Issues COVID Guidance

OSHA Issues COVID Guidance

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently released Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace (“OSHA Guidance”). The OSHA Guidance is similar to the Final Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 (“Virginia Standard”) recently approved by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (“VOSH”) Program. This firm previously wrote about the Virginia ...
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VOSH STANDARD REVISIONS APPROVED

VOSH STANDARD REVISIONS APPROVED

Last month, the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program released its Revised Proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SAR-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19.  Vandeventer Black released a summary of those proposed permanent revisions to the temporary standard, which can be found here. On January 4, 2021, VOSH issued an updated final standard which was approved by the Virginia Department of Labor ...
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The FFCRA Paid Leave is Dead (Unless You Liked It)

The FFCRA Paid Leave is Dead (Unless You Liked It)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) paid leave provisions have expired. The law, which was effective from April 1 through December 31, 2020, required businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and emergency family medical leave (EFMLA) in limited coronavirus-related circumstances, and provided businesses with a refundable tax credit for the leave provided. The Consolidated Appropriations ...
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Can my Company Compel Compliance with an COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Policy?  It’s a Definite Maybe…

Can my Company Compel Compliance with an COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Policy? It’s a Definite Maybe…

In the past week, millions of Americans watched as volunteers and government officials received the first COVID-19 vaccinations on U.S. soil.  Businesses of all sizes are feeling the pandemic’s devastating effects and employers are likely contemplating whether they may legally implement a mandatory vaccination policy for employees. The answer, as one might expect, depends a lot on the nature and extent of the proposed policy ...
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COVID CONFUSION: Recent Updates from the CDC and Governor Northam Leave Employers with More Questions and No Clear Answers

COVID CONFUSION: Recent Updates from the CDC and Governor Northam Leave Employers with More Questions and No Clear Answers

On top of all the other challenges posed by the COVID crisis, employers have had to grapple with ever-changing and contradictory guidance from the Center for Disease Control, Virginia, and various government agencies. Most recently, CDC updates and Governor Northam’s Executive Order (“E.O.”) 72 have created additional confusion for businesses regarding quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 and face coverings. Post-Exposure Quarantine Since early in the ...
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VOSH Standard Revisions

VOSH Standard Revisions

On December 10, 2020, The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program released its Revised Proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SAR-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19.  Generally, these revisions serve to clarify previously existing requirements or reduce the impact of some requirements that were found to be excessive, impractical, or in conflict with existing laws and updated CDC guidance. The revisions, if ...
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Virginia’s New COVID-19 Reporting Change and Online Reporting Portal

Virginia’s New COVID-19 Reporting Change and Online Reporting Portal

Effective December 8, 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has determined that employers no longer need to report single COVID-19 positive cases to the Virginia Department of Health. However, after an outbreak of two or more cases, employers shall continue reporting all cases to VDH until the local health department notifies the business that the outbreak has been closed. Closure is an effective ...
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Virginia Federal Court Dismisses Employee’s COVID-19-Related Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

For Virginia employers, 2020 has turned their world upside down between the complicated issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic and a wave of new state employment laws.  However, a recent decision issued in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia lends some support to employers exercising discretion and caution in this time of unprecedented health risks.  On November 12, 2020, the ...
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DOL Proposes New Rule Clarifying Independent Contractor Status

DOL Proposes New Rule Clarifying Independent Contractor Status

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has proposed a new rule interpreting independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The purpose of the proposed rule is to provide clarity as to when a worker is an independent contractor, and not an employee, under the FLSA. If adopted, the proposed rule would operate as DOL’s sole interpretation of independent contractor status. Note that, ...
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Federal Contractors Beware: New Executive Order Prohibits Certain Anti-Discrimination Training

Federal Contractors Beware: New Executive Order Prohibits Certain Anti-Discrimination Training

On September 22, 2020, President Trump signed the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (“EO”). Under the EO, executive departments and agencies, the military, federal contractors, and federal grant recipients are required to include specific provisions pertaining to workplace training in every government contract entered into after November 21, 2020. The EO, which applies to all government contracts subject to Equal Employment Opportunity ...
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DOL Revises its FFCRA Paid Leave Rule To Narrow the Category of Health Care Providers that Can Be Exempted from the Paid Leave Requirements

DOL Revises its FFCRA Paid Leave Rule To Narrow the Category of Health Care Providers that Can Be Exempted from the Paid Leave Requirements

On August 3, 2020, the Southern District of New York issued an opinion invalidating certain portions of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Temporary Rule on the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The DOL has responded by revising its Temporary Rule. The revision, which goes into effect on September 16, 2020, makes the following changes to the FFCRA’s emergency ...
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Emergency Temporary Safety Rules Effective July 27 in Virginia

Emergency Temporary Safety Rules Effective July 27 in Virginia

This article is the third and final in a three-part series discussing the New Emergency Temporary Standards for Employers in Virginia. Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2. On July 27, 2020, the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program published the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board’s (the Board) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Infectious Disease Prevention: SARSCoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19, ...
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Heat-Related Illness Prevention: A Short Guide for Employers

Heat-Related Illness Prevention: A Short Guide for Employers

Many parts of the United States are experiencing record high temperatures this summer, which means many employees are at a greater risk of heat-related illness. As temperatures and humidity rates continue to rise, it is a reminder for employers to make sure they are protecting the health of their employees who are exposed to such harsh weather conditions on the job. In addition to common ...
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NEW EMERGENCY TEMPORARY STANDARD WILL APPLY TO EMPLOYERS IN VIRGINIA [Part 2]

 WHAT VIRGINIA EMPLOYERS CAN EXPECT IN THE COMING WEEKS This article is the second in a three-part series discussing the New Emergency Temporary Standards for Employers in Virginia. Click here to read Part 1 and Part 3. With the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s adoption of 16 VAC 25-220; which is called the Emergency Temporary Standard, Infectious Disease Prevention:  SARS-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19 ...
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New Emergency Temporary Standard Will Apply to Employers in Virginia

New Emergency Temporary Standard Will Apply to Employers in Virginia

This article is the first in a three-part series discussing the New Emergency Temporary Standards for Employers in Virginia. Click here to read Part 2 and Part 3. Governor Northam’s executive order (EO 63), tasked the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (the Board) – which “promulgates and adopts job safety and health standards, [that] employers and employees are required to comply with…”– to create ...
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Supreme Court Extends Title VII Protections to LGBTQ Workers

Supreme Court Extends Title VII Protections to LGBTQ Workers

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court officially declared that LGBTQ persons are protected from discharge or discipline because of sex under the anti-discrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Court’s landmark decision came as somewhat of a surprise considering that the Court’s current conservative majority was expected to move in the opposite direction. The Court unequivocally ...
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CDC Issues Additional Guidance for Businesses on Reopening

CDC Issues Additional Guidance for Businesses on Reopening

Following the nationwide rush to reopen, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued decision trees for businesses to follow in deciding when to reopen and a brochure with detailed guidance for reducing the risk of infection in the workplace. Much of the information in these new CDC publications is similar to what the CDC has been advising for weeks—encourage proper hygiene, require social distancing, ...
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Virginia Enacts New Whistleblower Law for Private Employers

Virginia Enacts New Whistleblower Law for Private Employers

Effective July 1, 2020, private employers in Virginia will have a number of new legal obligations and potential liabilities. One of these new laws is Virginia Code § 40.1-27.3, the Fraud and Abuse Whistleblower Protection Act. This new law creates several new protections for employees involved in reporting suspicious, questionable, or unlawful employer activity. The law specifically prohibits retaliation by the employer against whistleblower employees.  ...
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