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July 4, 2020

Personalized masks could potentially create a hostile work environment

There has been much conversation about wearing masks in public and at work. Standards have been set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the types of masks that should be worn depending on the risk hazard. And now, with universal mask wearing, businesses must […]

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June 28, 2020

U.S. Supreme Court rules LGBTQ rights are protected by federal employment law

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark 6-3 decision that the rights of LGBTQ people are protected from employment discrimination. The case involved three separate lawsuits that were consolidated into one. Two of the cases arose from the termination of two male gay employees working for separate companies and the third […]

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June 21, 2020

The legal implications of racist after-hours social media activity

Employees posting seemingly racist comments on social media didn’t just start in 2020, but recent posts are being brought to the attention of employers and businesses are taking action. Whether employees can be terminated for comments made after hours on their own time using their own electronic systems may depend on whether the employee works […]

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June 14, 2020

Recognizing and overcoming bias in the workplace

Addressing implicit bias and the need to consciously avoid acting on those biases is a key part of creating a respectful and civil workplace. During a training session last year about ways to prevent and immediately eliminate obvious acts of discrimination, a woman approached me to tell me her “problem” was that she didn’t see […]

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June 6, 2020

How workplaces can serve as allies to eradicate racial injustice

In a letter from the jail in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” While we know that acts of bias and racism are deeply rooted in our communities, recent events, including the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis during an arrest, among […]

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May 30, 2020

Getting employees off unemployment and back to work

Now that Virginia, and other parts of the country, are finally opening up and returning to business, employers are facing an unexpected concern: employees who are refusing to return to work. Employers claim the reason is because many employees are earning more money collecting the enhanced unemployment benefits than they would otherwise earn working. To […]

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May 23, 2020

Here’s some guidance to employers on how best to return to the workplace

As employees return to the workplace following the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are trying to maneuver through the individual needs of its workers. While many employees can return to work without concern or incident, there are some individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions or who have symptoms of the virus that make returning to the workplace […]

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May 16, 2020

Advice for employers as Virginia reopens businesses

As Virginia starts to get back to business, employers are understandably concerned about making sure they keep their workers and customers as safe as possible. Creating a safe workplace should always be a priority, but the element of COVID-19 adds complexity to the business’s operations. Forward Virginia, a guide from the governor’s office, offers guidelines […]

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May 9, 2020

Virginia employers need to be prepared for these new laws

Virginia businesses get ready — changes are coming: You won’t be able to identify most workers as independent contractors anymore. Employees will have new whistleblower protections. And businesses will have to pay employees on time or face jail time. These are just some of the many employment laws signed by Gov. Ralph Northam last month. […]

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May 2, 2020

New state law could make Virginia state courts a hotbed for employment litigation

A series of state laws were signed in April by Gov. Ralph Northam that will forever impact Virginia businesses, leaving many to question whether the state will now be a forum for extensive employment litigation. One of these laws, known as the Virginia Values Act, which takes effect July 1, was touted by the governor […]

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