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January 16, 2021

Labor Department finalizes rule on how to classify independent contractors but it differs from Virginia law

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final ruling on the classification of independent contractors versus employees. The final rule — which was published earlier this month and goes into effect on March 8 — reaffirmed that employers should apply the economic realities test to determine if a person is an independent contractor versus an […]



January 9, 2021

Paid sick leave law not extended by Congress, but employers can voluntarily provide leave for tax credits

The first national paid sick leave law is now gone. But employers can voluntarily provide leave to workers for the next three months in exchange for a payroll tax credit. At the start of the pandemic, Congress passed an amendment to the Family Medical Leave Act known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It […]



January 2, 2021

Steps every organization must take in 2021 to prevent and end harassment in the workplace

While it seems inconceivable that organizations still employ people who engage in sexual harassment, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled lawsuits that expose the grim reality that many businesses haven’t gotten the memo that sexual harassment must be prevented and not tolerated in the workplace. Too many companies and industries wrongly believe they are exempt […]



December 28, 2020

Six things 2020 taught us about the workplace

This year has taught us a lot about the workplace: 1. We are resilient: The new workplace word for 2020 is pivot. Employers have adjusted to telework on the fly, changed schedules to account for home-schooling, canceled planned conferences and meetings, learned a new norm of the virtual everything, created a COVID-safe workplace — all while […]



December 19, 2020

Managers can learn leadership lessons from the tale of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

If you learned about the famous Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you might have concluded that Santa is much like many managers in the workplace — good at delivering the final product, but not very good at creating a respectful and inclusive workplace or holding employees accountable for their misconduct. Rudolph presents a key case study […]



December 13, 2020

Finding ways to appreciate and reward employees after a long, difficult year

Employers are looking for ways to make the end of this crazy year merry and bright. That’s a tough order because many employees haven’t seen each other face to face in almost a year. Some employees have been hired into companies this year who haven’t even met their managers in person. Employers looking to find […]



December 6, 2020

Job reassignment remains the accommodation of last resort under the ADA, court rules

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month issued a precedent-setting decision in favor of an employer in a case alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and reassignment as a reasonable accommodation. The ruling from the Richmond-based appeals court is a must-read for employers seeking a road map on how to comply […]



November 28, 2020

Can employers require workers to take a flu – or COVID-19 – vaccine?

Each year employers, especially in health care and those working with the elderly, require that employees receive the influenza vaccine, although there have always been legal constraints to mandating the flu vaccine without exception. The stakes are higher this year, with employers not just in health care, but largely all industries, especially in education, retail, […]



November 22, 2020

Give thanks to workers – and show it

Thanksgiving will look a lot different this year not just at home, but also in the workplace. For those who are employed, we have a lot to be thankful for. This year has been tough for many workers. In Virginia, the state’s unemployment rate peaked at 11.2% in April, which was up from just 2.6% […]



November 14, 2020

How will Justice Amy Coney Barrett rule on workplace Issues?

As a Supreme Court justice, Amy Coney Barrett will be called upon to decide cases in a variety of criminal and civil cases, including those impacting the workplace. During her tenure on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett wrote about 15 employment cases and was part of the panel on about 45 more. […]