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June 20, 2021

NY’s Andrew Cuomo’s statements on harassment show common misunderstandings around harassment

What is harassment? To New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, “Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable — that is not harassment. If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment. That’s you feeling uncomfortable.” Cuomo was responding to a reporter who asked the governor about his earlier admissions that he may have made […]

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June 12, 2021

EEOC issues important updates on employer policies around the COVID-19 vaccine

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its COVID-19 technical assistance guidance in late May to provide clarity for employers on mandatory vaccinations, reasonable accommodations, requiring proof of vaccinations, and whether incentives to employees and/or family members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are legal. Here are some areas covered under the new guidance: Mandatory vaccines: The […]

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June 7, 2021

Companies and co-workers should encourage dads to take parental leave

Father’s Day offers an important reminder that employers need prioritize giving men not just the legal right, but the sincere freedom and encouragement, to take family time off, including parental leave. Volvo gets it. The carmaker announced earlier this year that it will provide 24 weeks paid parental leave to all its employees regardless of […]

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May 30, 2021

In getting employees back to the workplace, companies need to determine whether onsite attendance is an essential job function

Many businesses are ready to have their employees return to the office. To that end, many employees have put up some significant resistance, stating that the pandemic has proven that they can be fully productive while working remotely. Social media is rife with shaming employers who are announcing they will be bringing employees back to […]

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May 25, 2021

Virginia employers need to comply with workplace safety rules that seem to conflict with the CDC and governor’s order

Ever since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced unexpectedly that vaccinated Americans no longer needed to wear a mask in most settings, employers have questioned how those changes apply to their workplaces and workers. In Virginia, it is a little more complicated because a permanent standard issued earlier this year by the […]

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May 16, 2021

New state law to give Virginia employees with disabilities added protections

Virginia companies employing five or more workers will need to comply with the addition of “disability” as a protected characteristic to the Virginia Human Rights Act effective July 1. Currently, businesses with 15 or more employees must comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. But come July 1, those same companies and now those […]

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May 8, 2021

It is legal for businesses to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations

As vaccines are now broadly available to most U.S. workers, questions remain about whether employers can mandate vaccinations and require that employees show proof of vaccination. Businesses, in most cases, can require employees receive a vaccination. Last month, for instance, a Texas hospital system with 26,000 employees was among the first major health care systems […]

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May 1, 2021

Changes coming to the state minimum wage and overtime pay

Two big changes are taking place this year to compensate workers. First up is a change in the state minimum wage. Starting May 1, employers are required to pay workers a minimum of $9.50 an hour, up from the $7.25-an-hour rate that also is the federal minimum wage. Virginia’s minimum wage increases by 15.7% on […]

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April 24, 2021

The complexity around Virginia’s legalization of marijuana and other state laws has left employers with more questions than answers

The new marijuana law passed by the General Assembly this year and signed by the governor leaves many open questions for employers. Last week, I wrote about potential implications that federal laws may have on the new state law that legalizes recreational marijuana possession. But employers also have to be concerned with how the new […]

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April 18, 2021

What does the legalization of recreational marijuana use mean for Virginia employers

Possession of marijuana will be legal in Virginia effective July 1, with certain restrictions. Employers have begun to question how this new state law that legalizes recreational marijuana possession and presumably consumption will impact workplaces in Virginia, if at all. Companies are considering whether the law permits employees to come to work under the influence […]

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