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Estate Planning for Young Adults

Patrick W. Herman
Estate planning is the tool that allows individuals to control how their assets and lives will be managed in case of their incapacitation or death. One common misconception is that estate planning is solely for the wealthy. On the contrary, estate planning is for everyone! No matter what stage of life you are in, every ...
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New Guidance From OSHA About COVID-19 In The Workplace

New Guidance From OSHA About COVID-19 In The Workplace

Vandeventer Black
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is continuing to address safety concerns in the workplace due to the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 by providing enforcement guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) and Employers. So far in April 2020, OSHA released several enforcement memoranda concerning COVID-19.  They can be accessed on ...
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The Virginia Values Act:  Details of the Comprehensive LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law Recently Passed in Virginia

The Virginia Values Act: Details of the Comprehensive LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law Recently Passed in Virginia

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
On April 11, 2020, Governor Northam signed into law the Virginia Values Act, which goes into effect on July 1, 2020. The Virginia Values Act provides comprehensive protection against discrimination for LGBTQ+ persons and other designated persons. The Virginia Values Act amends both the Virginia Human Rights Act and the Virginia Fair Housing Act by ...
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The CARES Act – What the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Means for Businesses 

The CARES Act – What the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Means for Businesses 

Vandeventer Black
After a week of negotiations, Congress has come to an agreement on the text of a $2 Trillion dollar relief law. The CARES Act (the “Act”) promises aid to individual Americans, small businesses, hospitals, and large corporations. The President signed the bill into law on March 27, 2020.   The major provisions of the law ...
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The CARES Act – What the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Means for Businesses 

The CARES Act – What the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Means for Businesses 

Vandeventer Black
After a week of negotiations, Congress has come to an agreement on the text of a $2 Trillion dollar relief law. The CARES Act (the “Act”) promises aid to individual Americans, small businesses, hospitals, and large corporations. The President signed the bill into law on March 27, 2020.   The major provisions of the law ...
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Virginia Will Focus On Misclassification Of Workers As Independent Contractors

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
In August 2018, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 16, which established the Inter-Agency Taskforce on Misclassification and Payroll Fraud. The Taskforce’s purpose was to make recommendations on how to measure and combat “misclassification” of workers as independent contractors in the view of the Commonwealth. The Taskforce included representatives from a variety of state agencies, such ...
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U.S. Department of Labor Increases FLSA Salary Threshold

U.S. Department of Labor Increases FLSA Salary Threshold

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued the final rule on the salary threshold, making 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay.  The final rule raises the standard salary level up from its current level of $455 per week to $684 per week ($35,568 per year for a full-year ...
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House Moves to Ban Employment Arbitration Agreements

House Moves to Ban Employment Arbitration Agreements

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
On September 20, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to ban mandatory arbitration of employment or consumer claims. The House voted 225 to 186 in favor of the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, which would make unenforceable any pre-dispute arbitration agreement that requires arbitration of an employment, consumer, antitrust, or civil ...
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DoD publishes final rule limiting the use of LPTA procurements effective October 1, 2019

Vandeventer Black
Contractors have frequently been heard to complain about the government’s persistent use of “Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Procurements,” or “LPTA” as a race to the bottom in both price and quality.  While the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) has provided that price may play a dominant role in source selection where “the requirement is clearly definable ...
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virginia employment law rules

Qualified Opportunity Zones: A Reciprocal Vehicle to Minimize Capital Gains

Vandeventer Black
The recently adopted Qualified Opportunity Zone Program (QOZ), introduced in 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is emerging as a potentially significant federal economic development tool that could improve the outcomes of distressed communities throughout the United States. Through the QOZ program, investors can inject capital into government-designated, economically-depressed communities and promote long-term economic growth ...
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HIRING EMPLOYEES UNDER THE AGE OF 18

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
A REFRESHER ON FEDERAL AND STATE CHILD LABOR LAWS Recently, an accident in the trenches of a Northern Virginia construction site resulted in the injuring of one employee and the death of another. News reports allege that the deceased employee was only 16 years old. Under both Federal and Virginia child labor laws, the 16-year ...
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small business administration

SBA Raises Size Limit For Firms To Qualify As Small Businesses

Vandeventer Black
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is raising the size limit for engineering, construction, and other companies to be classified as “small.” The interim final will increase thresholds by about 8% from the current levels. The new standards will take effect on August 19, 2019. For construction firms in the various buildings construction and heavy ...
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Virginia Workers Compensation & Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Subcontractors

Virginia Workers Compensation & Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Subcontractors

Vandeventer Black
The Virginia Workers Compensation Act prohibits employees from suing their employers for injuries incurred in the ordinary scope of employment. The Act provides an exclusive avenue of recourse for injured employees to recover against their employers. Section 65.2-307 of the Act provides that: The rights and remedies herein granted to an employee when his employer ...
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DoD Introduces New Cybersecurity Certification for Defense Contractors

Vandeventer Black
With the federal government’s first False Claims Act case based on cybersecurity regulations from the Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA making its way through the courts, (United States ex rel. Markus v. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.) and the continuing issues surrounding the implementation of the 2016 amendments to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement ...
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court room

U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES THAT TRANSPORTATION EMPLOYER’S ARBITRATION AGREEMENT WITH INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT

Vandeventer Black
Generally, once parties sign a contract with an arbitration provision, disputes arising out of the contract are required to be heard by an objective arbitrator. After Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in 1925, the long-established federal policy has been to liberally favor arbitration agreements. Prior to the FAA, however, there was no guarantee ...
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Untimely Challenges: Keeping Department Of Labor Decisions Free From Constitutional Appointments Clause Challenges After Lucia V. Sec. (Part Two)

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
(PART TWO) This is the second and last of a multi-part series regarding the implications that Constitutional Appointment Clause challenges have for prior and current administrative hearings before the Department of Labor. As Appointments Clause Challenges Continue to Rise, Should Employers and Insurance Companies be Concerned about Re-litigating the Decisions Where an ALJ has Denied ...
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Untimely Challenges: Keeping Department Of Labor Decisions Free From Constitutional Appointments Clause Challenges After Lucia V. Sec. (Part One)

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
(PART ONE) This is the first part of a multi-part series regarding the implications that Constitutional Appointment Clause challenges have for prior and current administrative hearings before the Department of Labor. Lucia v. SEC On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court issued Lucia v. SEC, an important case clarifying the definition of “inferior officers” under ...
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11th Circuit Permits Termination Of Retiree Obligations In Bankruptcy

11th Circuit Permits Termination Of Retiree Obligations In Bankruptcy

Vandeventer Black
In recent years, a variety of external factors—including, regulatory costs, political headwinds, falling oil prices, and the increased utilization of natural gas—have placed significant stress on domestic coal companies.  Those external factors, in conjunction with significant pension and healthcare liabilities and debt burdens, led to numerous bankruptcy filings within the coal industry.  The Bankruptcy Code ...
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legal services

Who Benefits From Your Design Or Consulting Services Contract?

Vandeventer Black
In initially answering the question of who benefits from your design or consulting services contract, you might conclude that your contract benefits several parties. For example, a contractor “benefits” from the quality designs of the architect’s design consultant in performing its work even though it was not a party to the contract between the architect ...
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court room

Before Entering Into A Contract With An Arbitration Provision, Consider What Time Period The Parties Will Have To Bring Claims

Vandeventer Black
Statutes of limitations are statutory deadlines for filing legal actions. Limitation periods vary by the type of action. It is important to evaluate these limitation periods because if the deadline is missed, then the claim may be time-barred by the court. Arbitration provisions are increasingly common. Only a few jurisdictions, however, explicitly address whether statute ...
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