Employment Law Updates

Whether a worker is entitled to certain benefits or is covered by a particular law depends on the worker’s classification as an employee or independent contractor.  Government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor, EEOC, IRS and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) do not all use the same test to determine that classification.  In a January 25, 2019 decision, the NLRB changed the test it had been using since 2014.

Until now, in Virginia only government employees had a right to access information in their personnel records. A new Virginia law will now require employers in the private sector to provide current or former employees with copies of certain employment-related documents upon request.

As a general rule, employers may not require employees or job applicants to take a polygraph (lie detector) test. The federal Polygraph Protection Act severely restricts the use of polygraph tests with employees or applicants. The Act prohibits most employers from requiring, suggesting, requesting or causing an employee or applicant to submit to a polygraph test, and further bars employers from requesting, using, referring to or inquiring about the results of any prior such test. In addition, the Act prohibits employers from terminating, disciplining or discriminating against an employee or applicant for refusing to take a polygraph test or for related actions.

Virginia employees often assume they are entitled by law to rest periods and meal breaks. Such a belief is a misconception. Although most employers voluntarily provide their full-time employees meal breaks and rest periods, neither Virginia nor federal law requires them. One exception is Virginia’s child labor law, which prohibits an employer from requiring or permitting a child under 16 years of age to work for more than five hours continuously without a lunch period of at least 30 minutes.

Employers are often confused about whether they may count a holiday against an employee's 12 week Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitlement. The U.S. Department of Labor has issued guidance on this subject. As explained in the DOL's FMLA Fact Sheet #28I, when a holiday falls during a week in which an employee is taking the full week of FMLA leave, the entire week is counted as FMLA leave. However, when a holiday falls during a week when an employee is taking less than the full week of FMLA leave, the holiday is not counted as FMLA leave, unless the employee was scheduled and expected to work on the holiday and used FMLA leave for that day.

Office Hours

Mon - Fri 8:30 am - 5 pm
Sat Closed
Sun Closed

Contact Us

925 Main St., Suite 300 
Lynchburg, VA 24504 

434-846-2768
434-847-0141
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
pldr law firm facebook icon