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Virginia Employment Law

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Successful companies value their workforce. They prioritize competitive pay and benefits in a positive working environment. Even the best intentions become inconsequential when a business is not compliant with laws governing employment in its state and in states where its employees work. Employment laws in Virginia are constantly changing with recent updates that increase employee protections. This further emphasizes the need for Virginia businesses to remain vigilant in their compliance with employment law. This is why your business or nonprofit organization needs guidance from the attorneys at Dunlap Law, employment lawyers in Richmond, VA.

What is employment law?

Virginia employment statutes govern the employer/employee relationship and outline the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Labor statutes attempt to balance  the needs of both business owners and employees. Statutes vary by state but generally include laws governing workplace safety, wages, benefits, leave, discrimination, unemployment, and workplace conduct.

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What is the difference between a labor lawyer and an employment lawyer?

We are experienced employment attorneys. There is a difference between labor attorneys and employment attorneys. Labor lawyers specialize in the rules and regulations that govern labor unions. Employment lawyers represent employers or employees on legal issues related to employment and work. Typically, lawyers specializing in labor and/or employment law will choose to represent only employees or only management/ business owners.  Dunlap Law’s employment attorneys represent management/business owners.  As your employment attorneys, Dunlap Law represents your business in all aspects of employment law. We handle a wide variety of issues from keeping you ahead of changing labor laws to negotiating compensation, drafting policies and handbooks, and advising on specific employee-related issues.

Why do you need Dunlap Law’s employment attorney?

At Dunlap Law, we understand that small business owners work hard to make their businesses thrive. As your employment lawyer in Richmond, VA, we help ensure your business is up-to-date and compliant with all applicable labor laws.

For example, Virginia is an at-will employment state. This means an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any legal reason without incurring legal liability. However, this rule has several exceptions, including discrimination based on race, color, religion, political affiliation, age, disability, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. In addition, a company cannot fire an employee in retaliation for whistleblowing, reporting workplace violations, or if an employee refuses to engage in illegal activity. Employers that ignore these statutes are subject to fines and might face legal action from the wronged employee. As your labor attorney in Virginia, Dunlap Law skillfully advises  your business with years of experience and invaluable insight that protects your company.

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What are some other employment laws with which your company should be familiar?

Employers in Virginia are subject to many employment laws and regulations, including:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets minimum wage, overtime pay, and recordkeeping requirements, is a federal statute. There is some state control over certain aspects of employment law. The minimum wage in the Commonwealth of Virginia is $12 per hour. This is more than the current mandated federal minimum wage of $8.55 per hour. Hire our employment lawyers in Richmond, VA, to keep you informed about changing regulations.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) sets workplace safety and health standards. Guidelines under this federal program, for example, include the requirement for employers to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to each employee where necessary. This may include respirators, safety glasses, face shields, earplugs, protective gloves, flame-resistant clothing, and more. Employers must also ensure that all areas used for work, including production floors, storage rooms, and walking surfaces, are kept clean, orderly, and sanitary.
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons. The federal government protects certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during their leave.
  • The Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA), in addition to federal protections, prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, and other protected characteristics. The 2020 Virginia Values Act expanded the VHRA. First, it added disability as a protected category and required employers to provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities unless doing so would cause the employer undue hardship. It applies to employers with as few as six employees.

What can Dunlap Law do to help protect your business?

  • As expert employment lawyers based in Richmond, Dunlap Law can create a well-written employment contract to lay the groundwork for a solid employee/employer relationship. We have years of experience drafting employment agreements for many types of businesses. We can review and update any agreement you already have and tailor it to fit the needs of your business operations and its workforce.
  • As expert Richmond-based employment lawyers, we can draft policies and procedures for your employee handbook to set clear and enforceable standards. An employee handbook is essential  for your business and your employees. An experienced employment lawyer from Dunlap Law ensures your handbook contains all pertinent information, thus preventing misunderstandings.
  • As expert Richmond-based employment lawyers, we can proactively audit your current employment practices and help you correct any issues before they become problematic.

There are many reasons to make Dunlap Law your employment attorney serving Richmond and greater Virginia.

  • We proactively work with our business clients to prevent, triage, and resolve employment-law related vulnerabilities. As Virginia employment attorneys, this is at the core of Dunlap Law’s work for employers.
  • We identify your risks and advise you on employment practices so you can effectively manage your workforce without getting snared by the constantly shifting employment law landscape. Dunlap Law’s Virginia employment attorneys can help.  We educate our small business clients on the “why” behind our advice.   Our focus as your Virginia employment attorney is to empower you to make sound decisions every day.
  • Whether your business is facing a dispute with an employee, wants updated employment policies and procedures, or needs ongoing, proactive counsel from a trusted employment attorney, Dunlap Law can help. Whether you need an employment attorney in Northern Virginia, the Valley, Tidewater, Central Virginia, Southside or Southwest –  anywhere in the state of Virginia – we are your partner in employee relations.

Your search for a reputable employment law firm or attorney in Richmond and greater Virginia ends with one call to Dunlap Law.
Dunlap Law represents management/business owners.
A free consultation with our Virginia employment lawyers will allow you to assess our mutual fit and be assured that your business is in the best possible hands. Call Dunlap Law today at 804-931-1158 to find out more.

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