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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 in Employee Benefits.
Virginia Expands Workplace Protections for Individuals with Disabilities

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. 

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.  

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

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. 

Construction Services Company Flagged for Unpaid Employee Travel Time

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.

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:

DOL Allows Employers to Electronically Post Required FLSA/FMLA Notices

2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as the year that telework gained widespread acceptance in the U.S. While remote work creates several benefits for employers, it also comes with some challenges. In guidance issued this week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) took on one of those issues: Under what circumstances can employers satisfy the mandatory requirement to physically post notices (“continuous posting”) or notify employees individually (“individual notices”) under certain federal statutes – here, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)  -- by email or internet or intranet websites?

Deck the Halls (but stay Home) this Holiday Season

The 2020 holiday season is fast approaching. By one recent estimate, nearly 40% of Americans are planning to travel for the holidays, many to visit with family, friends, and loved ones for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet there are some parts of the U.S., especially the mid-west and south, that are currently experiencing significant spikes in the rate of COVID-19 infections. The CDC continues to actively discourage travel during the COVID-19 pandemic because “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”  

Summer Camps Closed Due to COVID-19? DOL Issues Additional Guidance for FFCRA Leave Eligibility

With the arrival of summer the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued some additional guidance last week to clarify when an employee may take leave under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to care for the employee’s child based on the closure of a summer camp, summer enrichment program, or other summer program for COVID-19-related reasons. The new guidance adds some gloss to the partial answer previously provided by the DOL earlier in the month, when it addressed the availability of FFCRA leave in the context of pending school summer closures, which you can read about here.

Can Virginia Employees Still Get Paid Leave Under the FFCRA After Businesses Reopen and Schools Close?

As Virginia businesses are beginning to reopen for work under Governor Ralph Northam’s Order easing many COVID-19-related business restrictions, most public and private school systems in the Commonwealth are beginning to wind down the school year and close for summer break. The dichotomy of openings and closings raises a key question for many workers with school-age children (and their employers): Am I able to continue to qualify for paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and emergency family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)?