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  • Explaining NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and How the Department of Justice is Cracking Down on NFT Fraud

    April 12, 2022 By Harrison J. Clinton | Business Insights

    Non-Fungible Tokens

    A non-fungible token (“NFT”) is a non-interchangeable unit of data which can be sold and traded. NFTs come in varying forms, though commonly, they take the form of a simple .jpeg image. Popular auction houses, such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, have recently reached hit numbers due to NFT sales.

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  • To Mask or Not to Mask: Virginia DOLI Board Votes to Repeal COVID Permanent Standard

    March 22, 2022 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    On March 21, 2022, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), Safety and Health Codes Board (Board) voted to revoke the Virginia Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 (the “Permanent Standard”).

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  • HUBZone Compliance, Protests and Affiliates

    March 9, 2022 By Harrison J. Clinton | Business Insights

    What Happens if my Employees Move Out of a HUBZone After Certification? What Happens If my Business Merges with Another Company?

    Once certified, a HUBZone contractor must monitor the residences of its employees to ensure compliance with the Small Business Administration’s regulations. Because employees move – and not necessarily with the approval of their employers! – the regulations allow for some flexibility once an employee establishes a residence in a HUBZone and later moves.

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  • DOLI Moves to Repeal Virginia’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety Regulations

    February 24, 2022 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    As summarized in a recent blog post about COVID-19 workplace facemask requirements, Virginia was one of the first states in the U.S. to implement comprehensive emergency temporary COVID-19 workplace safety regulations, with a permanent set of regulations (“Permanent Standard”) implemented in September 2021, by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s (“DOLI”) Safety and Health Codes Board (the “Board”).  Now, with COVID-19 transmission rates, hospitalizations and deaths sharply declining across the Commonwealth and a new occupant in the governor’s mansion in Richmond, the Board has begun the regulatory process that seems likely to lead to the repeal of the Permanent Standard in the not-too-distant future.

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  • What are the Requirements for Becoming and Maintaining HUBZone Certification?

    February 23, 2022 By Harrison J. Clinton | Business Insights

    Intended to fuel small business growth in historically underutilized geographic areas, the government set a goal of awarding at least 3% of federal contract dollars to HUBZone certified companies that operate and employ residents of those areas each year. The program is beneficial for small businesses because, once certified, contracting officers may make sole-source awards to HUBZone contractors, and can receive a price preference on full and open competition.

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  • Are Facemasks Still Required in Virginia Workplaces?

    January 28, 2022 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    Back in July 2020, Virginia became one of the first states in the U.S. to implement comprehensive emergency temporary COVID-19 workplace safety regulations. Then, on September 8, 2021, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s (“DOLI”) Safety and Health Codes Board (the “Board”) approved a permanent set of regulations governing workplace safety standards and disease prevention relating to COVID-19 (the “Permanent Standard”), which became effective upon approval by then-Governor Ralph Northam. Mandatory use of cloth facemasks at work during times of significant or high rates COVID-19 community transmission was one of the COVID-19 safety hallmarks under the Permanent Standard.

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  • Big News for Big Employers: Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates OSHA COVID Workplace Safety Standards for Large Employers

    December 20, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) on-again-off-again COVID workplace safety regulations requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID vaccines for those employees or require face masks and weekly testing (the “ETS”) are back on, reinstated by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a decision issued on December 17, 2021. The Sixth Circuit’s decision lifted the November 6, 2021 stay issued by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The stay barred OSHA from enforcing the ETS pending full judicial review, finding that OSHA had exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority in issuing the ETS, in response to multiple lawsuits brought by private employers, labor unions, state governments and individual citizens across the country. Those lawsuits had been consolidated into a single proceeding before the Sixth Circuit, under federal multi-district litigation rules.

     

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  • Employment Law in Focus

    September 17, 2021 | Employment Law

    In Episode 14 of Employment Law in Focus, attorney Doug Taylor discusses the new amended COVID-19 workplace safety regulations that went into effect on September 8, 2021, in Virginia.

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  • What if Your Employee Refuses to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

    September 16, 2021 By Maureen E. Carr | Employment Law

    In light of recent directives from the Biden Administration, an increasing number of employers with COVID-19 vaccine mandates will be faced with the question of what to do if an employee refuses to get vaccinated.

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  • Fourth Circuit Concludes that Title IX’s Prohibition Against Discrimination on the Basis of “Sex” May Extend to Charter School Uniforms

    August 11, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is straightforward in its prohibition:

    [N]o person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination [in] any academic, extracurricular, . . or other education program or activity[.]

    The statute has unquestionably transformed high school and college athletics for females in the U.S. For example, before Title IX was passed , about 310,000 women and girls played college and high school interscholastic sports. Now, more than three million females participate in school sports.

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  • Virginia Expands Workplace Protections for Individuals with Disabilities

    July 12, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    The rapid evolution of Virginia workplace laws continues with the Virginia General Assembly’s passage of HB 1848 , which extends employee workplace protections under the Virginia Human Rights Act (“VHRA”) to include a prohibition on discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The VHRA is applicable to Virginia employers with six or more employees.

    Effective July 1, 2021, the VHRA requires employers to engage in the familiar, ADA-like, good faith interactive process to determine whether there are reasonable accommodations available that will allow an otherwise qualified individual with a disability to perform their job.

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  • The New Virginia Overtime Wage Act: Big Changes are Coming for Many Virginia Employers

    July 1, 2021 By Maureen E. Carr, R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    In our blog posts last year, we chronicled the sea change in employment laws that has been underway in Virginia, in areas such as misclassifying employees as independent contractors and workplace discrimination . Virginia has had a well-earned reputation as a state with workplace rules and regulations typically favoring businesses over employees. However, the Commonwealth has been pulled in the other direction in recent legislative sessions, with some now considering the state to be more aligned with progressive jurisdictions like California and Massachusetts, with more than a dozen employee-friendly pieces of legislation going into effect in 2020.

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  • Tackling the New Normal – EEOC Issues Updated Guidance for COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplace

    June 8, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    With a significant percentage of individuals now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, businesses are beginning to reopen or expand in-the-office activity in Northern Virginia and across the Commonwealth. On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated and expanded technical assistance targeted to answer some of the frequently asked questions concerning COVID-19 vaccinations in the employment context.

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  • Fourth Circuit Nixes Appellate Review of Arbitration Award

    May 27, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    Ar*bi*tra*tion – is a procedure in which the parties opt for a private dispute resolution, instead of going to court, by submitting the dispute to one or more arbitrators to make a binding decision.

    Certain businesses routinely utilize employment arbitration agreements, finding them to be an effective means of dealing with the uncertainties of workforce disputes that may arise during employment or after it ends.

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  • Fourth Circuit Adopts Expansive View of Same-Sex Harassment

    May 25, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    A recent decision of a panel of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals offers an important reminder for employers: There is potential legal risk in ignoring or brushing off an employee who comes forward with complaints of sexual harassment by a supervisor — even when the employee and supervisor are both of the same sex. Glenn Industrial Group, Inc., a North Carolina-based provider of underwater inspection and repair services to utility companies learned that lesson last week.

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  • The Risks of Engaging Foreign Independent Contractors

    May 3, 2021 By Maureen E. Carr | Employment Law

    In today’s global economy, it has become increasingly common for companies based in the United States to engage workers who live in other countries to provide services as independent contractors. This practice has become even more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic with the broad expansion of virtual work.

    Companies can save money hiring independent contractors because they do not have to provide benefits, office space, or equipment to contractors or pay taxes on compensation paid to contractors. Companies can often save even more money engaging contractors from other countries due to lower labor costs.

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  • COBRA Subsidies for Employees and Tax Credits for Employers Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

    April 13, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Business Insights

    President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARPA”) into law on March 11, 2021. The $1.9 trillion relief package contains several provisions that will impact employers, including a requirement that employers provide “assistance eligible individuals” (defined below) with fully subsidized COBRA continuation coverage premiums for the time period of April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, with such costs to be offset by a refundable credit against the employer’s share of Medicare tax under a newly added Internal Revenue Code section.

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  • COBRA Subsidies for Employees and Tax Credits for Employers Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

    April 13, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARPA”) into law on March 11, 2021. The $1.9 trillion relief package contains several provisions that will impact employers, including a requirement that employers provide “assistance eligible individuals” (defined below) with fully subsidized COBRA continuation coverage premiums for the time period of April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, with such costs to be offset by a refundable credit against the employer’s share of Medicare tax under a newly added Internal Revenue Code section.

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  • Bean, Kinney & Korman: Helping to Develop Cost-Effective COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policies and Procedures that Meet Virginia’s New Regulatory Requirements and OSHA, CDC Guidelines

    April 5, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    With COVID-19 vaccines becoming more readily available in the U.S. and a larger percentage of individuals having been vaccinated, businesses are beginning to reopen or expand in-the-office activity in Northern Virginia and across the Commonwealth. Businesses, both large and small, should be giving serious thought to the COVID-19 workplace safety policies and procedures that all are required to have in place to achieve appropriate workplace safety for employees and customers whenever re-opening day arrives.

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  • Construction Services Company Flagged for Unpaid Employee Travel Time

    April 1, 2021 By R. Douglas Taylor, Jr. | Employment Law

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continues to focus considerable enforcement attention on when employees must be paid for travel time between home and their office or worksite under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Construction and building trades companies remain at the forefront of the enforcement efforts of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”), as exemplified by the recent consent judgment that ended the lawsuit brought by the DOL against AWP, Inc., a company that provides traffic control “flagging” services for temporary construction work zones.

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