States approve minimum wage, paid leave ballot questions

November 10, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

States with employment-related ballot questions mostly approved them during the November 8 election, and employers have little lead time before many measures will be implemented.

All told, 14 states have new provisions with which companies must comply, some as early as January 1, 2017.

Minimum wage

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Transgender bathroom case makes it to Supreme Court

by Rachael L. Loughlin

On October 28, 2016, the Supreme Court granted the request of the School Board of Gloucester County to consider whether the Court should overturn a decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fourth Circuit ordered the School Board to allow Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male, to use the boys’ restroom during his senior year of high school.

By now, most HR professionals are aware of the ongoing debate as to what restrooms should be available to transgender individuals. Though individual cases are popping up all over the country, none has captured public attention like the case of transgender Gloucester High School student, Gavin Grimm. Grimm is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and his lawsuit contends that the School Board’s restroom policy requiring students to use the restroom matching their physical gender, is discriminatory and violates Title IX of the federal education code, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

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Virginia online privacy law takes effect July 1

by Sara Sakagami

Virginia’s new law placing restrictions on the circumstances in which employers may access their employees’ social media accounts takes effect July 1.

Virginia Code § 40.1-28.7:5 prohibits employers from requiring current or prospective employees to either (1) disclose login information for a personal social media account or (2) add an employee, supervisor, or administrator to the list of contacts associated with a personal social media account. The law defines a “social media account” as a “personal account with an electronic medium or service where users may create, share or view user-generated content.” Included in the definition are videos on sites such as YouTube, photographs on sites such as Instagram or Photobucket, blogs, podcasts, messages, e-mails, and website profiles and locations.

The law prohibits employers from using inadvertently obtained login information to access an employee’s social media account. The law also makes it illegal for employers to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee for exercising his rights under the law or threatening or taking actions to discharge, discipline, or penalize a current employee for exercising his rights.

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Virginia broadens unemployment eligibility for transferred military spouses

by Rachael E. Luzietti

A new Virginia law taking effect on July 1 will make more military spouses eligible for unemployment benefits.

Senate Bill 18, which was proposed by Senator Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton), provides that “good cause” exists if an employee leaves his job to accompany a spouse on active military duty who is transferred to a location that is not reasonably accessible to the spouse’s worksite.

The law applies only to employees relocating to a state with similar legislation. Unemployment benefits paid to eligible military spouses will be charged to the general compensation pool rather than the individual employer.

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Virginia’s new worker privacy law takes effect July 1

by Stacey Rose Harris

A new state law in Virginia aimed at increasing worker privacy takes effect July 1. It bars employers from being required to disclose to third parties current and former employees’ personally identifiable information except under certain circumstances.

The law, House Bill 1931, says employers can’t be required to disclose the personally identifiable information unless compelled to do so by law under a court order, warrant, or subpoena.

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Federal Court Rules Health Care Reform Provision Unconstitutional

December 14, 2010 - by: HR Hero 1 COMMENTS

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held that the individual health insurance mandate provision found in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the comprehensive health care reform legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010, is unconstitutional. The individual mandate would require most individuals to obtain health insurance or pay a fine.

The court’s ruling doesn’t invalidate the PPACA as a whole since the court determined that the individual mandate provision and “directly dependent provisions” are severable from the rest of the PPACA. The court also didn’t invalidate the entire law because that particular provision won’t go into effect until 2014.

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Virginia: Don’t Expect EEOC, DOL to Ease Up

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Michael Barnsback, DiMuroGinsberg, P.C.

Republicans picked up three U.S. House of Representatives seats in Virginia, defeating Democratic incumbents in the Second, Fifth, and Ninth Districts. The Eleventh District race in northern Virginia between incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly and Republican Keith Fimian was too close to call at the time of publication, but Connolly held a 500-vote lead.

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