About

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.

Contact Us

Topics

Archives

Select Month:

Contributors

Posts in Legislation.
Happy Birthday: The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns Twenty-Five

July 26, 2015 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which created comprehensive federal protections for individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including the workplace, providing equal access to the same employment opportunities and benefits available to persons without disabilities. In signing the law into effect twenty-five years ago, President George H.W. Bush noted:

With today’s signing of the landmark Americans [with] Disabilities Act, every man, woman and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright era of equality, freedom and independence.
New Law Limits Virginia Employers’ Access to Social Media Accounts

If you have questions related to this article, please contact our Employment Law attorneys: Doug Taylor rdougtaylor@beankinney.com or Maureen Carr mcarr@beankinney.com.

Effective July 1, 2015, employers in Virginia will be prohibited from requesting usernames and passwords for social media accounts of current employees or applicants.  Specifically, Va. Code 40.1-28.7:5 will prohibit employers from:

  • Requiring a current or prospective employee to disclose the username and password to his social media account;
  • Requiring a current or prospective employee to add an employee, supervisor, or administrator to his list of contacts;
  • Using any login information inadvertently obtained to access an employee’s social media account;
  • Disciplining an employee for exercising his rights under this section;
  • Refusing to hire an applicant for exercising his rights under this section.
Virginia May Soon Join Maryland in Prohibiting Employers from Asking for Social Media Passwords

Virginia appears poised to join Maryland and a handful of other states that ban employers from asking current employees and applicants for access to their social media accounts, like Facebook. Earlier this month, the Virginia legislature passed a bill that precludes an employer from requesting or compelling an employee to: 1) divulge passwords or usernames for the employee’s social media accounts; or 2) add the employer to the contacts associated with the employee’s social media accounts. The restrictions also apply to applicants for employment. It is still permissible under the law for an employer to seek access information to an employee’s social media accounts, but only if the information is reasonably needed to investigate allegations of unlawful employee activity or necessary to comply with other laws. Unless vetoed, the law will become effective by the end of March 2015, or sooner.

Cunningham v. Feinberg: Virginia Employers May be Answerable in Maryland Courts for Unpaid Wages

In a case with potential significance for many Virginia employers, the Court of Appeals of Maryland recently decided in Cunningham v. Feinberg that the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (“MWPCL”) may be applicable to unpaid wage claims arising from employment agreements entered into in Virginia. Thus, a Virginia employer that does not exercise care in the payment of wages under a contract entered into with an employee who will be performing work in Maryland may find itself embroiled in a claim for unpaid wages, statutory treble damages, attorney’s fees and costs of litigation.

July 3, 2013
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email Print

Affordable Care Act Photo (00345306).jpgOn Tuesday, July 2, the Treasury Department announced that the Obama Administration will delay the Affordable Care Act’s mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements for another year.  These requirements will not take effect until 2015 while the Treasury Department works out new rules to help businesses navigate the complexities of the health care mandate. 

The Treasury Department similarly delayed until 2015 the assessment of penalties, also known as shared responsibility payments, for large employers that do not meet minimum standards of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  Large employers are defined in the act as having an average of at least 50 full-time employees on business days during the preceding calendar year.

The postponement does not affect the individual mandate regarding coverage or the on-going development of health care “exchanges”—the government-sponsored health care marketplace where individuals and businesses will be able to shop for health care plans offered by private providers. 

GraduateHat

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities.  The act was amended by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 with final regulations being issued in March 2011.  A significant change in the ADAAA was an expanded definition of “disability.”

For an impairment to be considered a disability under the pre-amended ADA, it had to prevent or severely restrict a person from performing activities central to most people’s daily lives.  With the enactment of the ADAAA and its subsequent regulations, it is now much easier for an impairment to be considered a disability.  To qualify as a disability, the impairment is only required to substantially limit one major life activity with life activities including reading, concentrating, communicating, working and thinking.

The 2011 session of the Virginia General Assembly has ended.  Below is a summary of employment law legislation that passed both houses during the session. 

HB 1705.  Workers' compensation; modifications to employee's home and automobile

  • Authorizes the Workers' Compensation Commission, in awards entered for incapacity for work, to require the employer to furnish and maintain modifications to or equipment for the injured employee's automobile

HB 1812.  Workers' compensation; occupational disease presumption for certain police officers.

  • Adds police officers of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Norfolk Airport Authority to the list of public safety employees who are entitled to the presumption that certain infectious diseases are occupational diseases compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act.

HB 1859.   Public Procurement Act; state agencies to include in contract that contractor use E-Verify program.

  • State agencies will be required to include in every contract over $50,000, a provision requiring the contractor to use the E-Verify program for employees who will be performing work under the contract within VA.

SB 823.  Workers' compensation; presumption that certain injuries are work related.

  • A presumption is created that an injury is work related where an employee is physically or mentally unable to testify and there is unrebutted prima facie evidence that the injury was work related.