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As employment law constantly changes, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman stay up to date on the law as it develops. Our blog topics focus on those changes and what you need to know about them, ranging from severance agreements and the FLSA to social media in the workplace and recent court decisions. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

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  • Posts by Maureen Carr
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    Maureen E. Carr is a shareholder of Bean, Kinney & Korman. She focuses her practice on employment law and commercial litigation and is known for her legal acumen, responsiveness, and collaborative approach.

    Employment Law

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

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.  

The Risks of Engaging Foreign Independent Contractors

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. 

Can Employers Require Employees to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine foretells a return to normalcy (or some semblance of normalcy) in the workplace and beyond. As the vaccine becomes more widely available, many employers are grappling with the question of whether they can require employees to get vaccinated. 

The answer is yes, but with some limitations.

FFCRA Update: COVID-19 Paid Leave in 2021

The paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) expired on December 31, 2020, but employers who choose to continue providing such paid leave can benefit from the FFCRA tax credit through March 31, 2021. 

From April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, the FFCRA required covered employers (private employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public employers) to provide the following to eligible employees, in addition to any paid leave already offered by the employer:

Supreme Court Extends Anti-Discrimination Protections to Gay and Transgender Employees

In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled today in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia that gay and transgender employees are protected by federal anti-discrimination laws.  

Thus, as of June 15, 2020, public and private employers are prohibited from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or identity.

Virginia Enacts Dramatic and Far-Reaching Employment Law Protections, Part 2

This blog post follows Doug Taylor’s April 27, 2020 post about the recent wave of employee-friendly changes to Virginia law. In addition to the changes discussed in Doug’s post related to wage theft, non-competes, workplace discrimination, and whistleblower protections, new Virginia legislation imposes significant consequences on employers for misclassifying employees as independent contractors, substantially increases the minimum wage, and makes general construction contractors liable for subcontractors’ failure to pay wages.

Government Enacts Stimulus Package with Extensive Benefits for Employers and Employees

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which is the third major piece of legislation to address the coronavirus crisis. The unprecedented $2 trillion relief bill provides, among other things, stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment insurance, student loan and retirement account rule changes, and massive loans for businesses (some of which are forgivable). 

COVID-19 FAQS for Employers

As most everyone in the world by now is aware, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is sweeping the United States and rocking the economy. The federal government and nearly all 50 states have declared states of emergency. Many schools and businesses are closed or operating remotely. The pandemic creates unique issues for employers and employees alike. The following FAQs focus on the legal obligations of employers related to COVID-19.

Marijuana & the Workplace

As state laws and public opinion regarding marijuana continue to evolve, employers are confronting a variety of uncertainties about their drug policies. This article discusses marijuana laws and the ramifications of such laws for employers in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

When and where is marijuana use legal?

As of February 2020, 32 states and D.C. permit marijuana for medicinal purposes, and 11 states and D.C. permit marijuana for recreational purposes. 

When Can an Employer Deduct from the Pay of an Exempt (Salaried) Employee?

To be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employee must perform certain duties and be paid on a “salary basis,” meaning that the employee receives a set salary each week, regardless of the number of days or hours worked, with limited exceptions. Under the FLSA, an employer may deduct from the pay of an exempt employee only under the following circumstances:

  • No work: When an exempt employee performs no work for an entire workweek, the employer is not required to pay the employee’s salary for that week.