Virginia Employment Law
Workers are often taken advantage of by their employers, prospective or current. It's an unfortunate reality but one that should be recognized. Take a Fairfax restaurant may ask a server to work overtime without adjusting their pay to cover busy, short-staffed hours. Sometimes it feels like you can't argue with your employer if you want to keep your job.
But workers are rarely so powerless in the face of unjust circumstances. There are a number of federal and Virginia employment laws that employers are held accountable for and which protect workers' rights. This article breaks down those laws and rights.
Employment law covers a multitude of topics, including worker's compensation, workplace discrimination, vacation and overtime, unemployment benefits and more. Your employment dispute is often affected by federal, state and local laws simultaneously. Virginia employment law attorneys are experienced with the delicacy and complexity of work-related cases and can help protect your rights.
Common Virginia Employment Law Issues
Virginia is an at-will employment state. This means that an employer, at any time, may terminate an employee for any or no reason. However, employee rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and Virginia's employment laws protect workers from wrongful termination.
If you were fired because of employer discrimination, harassment or retaliation, you may have a wrongful termination case. Here are a few examples of wrongful termination:
- You were let go from your government job because you're lesbian or gay.
- You were fired because you reported to Human Resources that your manager was sending you sexually explicit emails.
- You were fired because you refused to illegally dump waste at your boss's request.
A successful wrongful termination case could earn you compensation for financial losses suffered as a result of the termination. The amount you may be awarded is calculated from the wages you should have earned if you weren't terminated and any overtime and unpaid wages your employer may owe you. The value of lost benefits and emotional distress may also be considered.
Virginia Minimum Wage
As of January 2017, Virginia's minimum wage is $7.25/hour—mirroring the federal minimum wage in the U.S. A bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hour by 2017 was struck down by the Virginia Senate, signaling slow progress in relieving workers' economic strain.
Virginia Laws on Drug Testing
Virginia's laws neither prohibit nor require private employers to request employees to take drug tests as a condition of employment. This means that employers are free to establish their own drug testing policies as long as they don't violate other state or federal laws.
However, subcontractors or vendors of public companies with a federal contract of $10,000 or more must submit to a drug test under Virginia's Drug Free Workplace Act.
Get Help from a Virginia Employment Attorney
If you or a loved one is involved in an employment law dispute, it's in your best interests to consult with an attorney. Employment law is a broad, complicated legal area with federal and state laws at play. An experienced Virginia employment law attorney can help protect your legal rights.
Get Help from an Experienced Employment Law Attorney
Have you been discriminated against by a potential or current employer -- as a job applicant or current employee? To best protect your legal rights you should discuss your situation with an employment lawyer. Meet with a local employment for employees attorney sooner rather than later to protect your rights.
Additional Employment Law for Employees Articles
- If An Employee Believes He Has Been Terminated Unfairly, Does He Have A Legal Right To Challenge The Termination?
- Who Handles Discrimination Questions?
- Does An Employer Have To Provide Employees Breaks Or A Meal Period?
- Are There Any Restrictions As To How Many Hours An Employee Can Be Required To Work Or When He May Work?
- Who Handles Unemployment Compensation Questions?
- If An Employee Has Not Been Paid All Of His Earned Wages How Can He Obtain Assistance?
- How Does An Employer Have To Pay Employees?
- When An Employee Terminates, When Are His Final Wages Due?
- Can An Employer Reduce An Employee's Rate Of Pay?
- What is the minimum wage in Rhode Island?
- Can Tips, Meals And Lodging Be Credited Toward The State's Minimum Wage?
- At What Age Can A Minor Child Work?
- What Are The Primary Requirements For Minors Who Work?
- Does A Minor Child Need A Work Permit Prior To Beginning Work?
- Where Can A Work Permit Be Obtained?
- What Hours Can A 14 Or 15 Year-Old Work?
- Are Minors Prohibited From Working In Certain Jobs?
- Can Civil Monetary Penalties Be Assessed Against An Employer?
- How Do I Get A Virginia Occupational Safety And Health Consultant To Come To My Company?
- What Is The Fee For This Consultation Service?
- How Long Will I Have To Wait For Consultation Services?
- Will I Know When The Consultant Will Be Conducting The Visit?
- Are There Any Monetary Penalties Attached To The Hazards Found By The Consultant?
- How Long Do I Have To Correct The Hazards That Are Found?
- Do Consultants Provide Safety And Health Training?
- Are Any Special Recognition Programs Available For Small Businesses With Good Safety Programs?
- How Did I Get Selected For This Vosh Inspection?
- How Long Is This Inspection Going To Take?
- How Much Are The Fines Going To Be?
- How Does Vosh Determine How Much The Fines Will Be?
- Today Is Not Convenient, Can You Come Another Day?
- So, Is Federal Osha Also Going To Inspect Us?
- What If I Don't Agree With The Citations?
- Can I Contest The Citations? If So, What Is The Contest Process?
- How Do I File A Complaint? Can I Do It All On-Line?
- Where Do I Get A Copy Of The Vosh Standards? How Much Do They Cost?
- What Is Registered Apprenticeship?
- When Did Registered Apprenticeship Begin In Virginia?
- Who Are The Players In The Virginia Apprenticeship Program?
- What Is An Apprenticeable Occupation?
- What Are Some Of The Commonly Used Terms In Apprenticeship?
- How Does An Employer Become A Registered Sponsor?
- When An Apprentice Completes His Or Her Apprenticeship What Do They Receive?
- What Are The Benefits Of Apprenticeship?
- Who Can Become An Apprentice?
- What Are The Apprentice's Responsibilities?