VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT LAW
Employment Law (also commonly known as Labor Law) covers a vast variety of issues relating to the employer-employee relationship. These issues include wrongful termination, wages and hours, health and safety, discrimination at the workplace, hiring and termination practices, disability law, and sexual harassment, to name a few. In Virginia, complaints and cases involving employment law are handled by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
There are some employment issues, such as wrongful termination and discrimination that should not be handled without the assistance of a Virginia employment attorney because of their complexity, and the need to collect extensive amounts of evidence. Generally speaking, however, seeking counsel from a Virginia employment lawyer is strongly recommended if you have any questions or concerns.
Why Hire A Virginia Employment Attorney?
Virginia employment law and wrongful termination cases involve a complex interplay between state and federal law, and must be carefully investigated and persuasively argued to ensure a successful outcome. A Virginia employment attorney can argue against your wrongful termination, help you file a claim for unpaid wages, construct and assert your discrimination claim against your employer and determine if you have a valid claim under Virginia Employment Law so that you do not waste time and money attempting to argue a frivolous claim. In addition, wrongful termination claims can be complicated for a former employee.
A Virginia wrongful termination lawyer can help communicate with the prior employer and provide guidance on the best methods to obtain a recovery. In addition, having a Virginia employment attorney by your side can be of great assistance if you seek to file a complaint with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, or if you have questions about your employment situation in Virginia and need an explanation of the rights and benefits that you are entitled to under Virginia employment law.
Wrongful Termination In Virginia
Virginia is an “employment-at-will” state. “At-will” means that an employee can leave his job at any time, and his employer can fire the employee at any time, for any reason, as long as the reason is not illegal. Even if the worker has a contract, the worker may be fired for reasons not listed in the contract.
“Wrongful termination” claims in Virginia can be filed when an employer’s termination of a worker is illegal or when his reason is discriminatory. In Virginia, it is illegal for an employer to fire a worker for:
If you have wrongful termination questions, you should speak with a Virginia wrongful termination attorney.
As stated above, it is considered wrongful termination for an employer to fire an employee because of discriminatory factors. Virginia law and federal law prohibit discrimination in employment and termination against someone who is qualified for the position, but is either not hired, or terminated because of his disability. Pregnancy, if viewed as a disability by the employer, cannot be the reason for termination of an employee.
Similarly, it is wrongful termination to fire someone because of his age if he otherwise has the experience required for the position. Other factors that may be considered discriminatory and grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit include race, sex, national origin, and religion. If you think you have a claim for wrongful termination, you should contact a wrongful termination attorney to make sure you get the best possible outcome in your case.
Employee Wage/Hour Concerns In Virginia
In Virginia, workers must be paid at least the state minimum wage for their services, which is and has been $7.25 an hour since October 1, 2009. Employees must be paid according to established pay schedules: hourly employees must be paid at least once every two weeks, or twice a month, and salaried employees must be paid at minimum once a month.
If your employer does not pay your wages on time or at all, you should speak with a Virginia employment lawyer about completing a Claim for Unpaid Wages. This claim should be submitted to the Virginia Division of Labor and Employment Law, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
If you work overtime (defined as all hours worked over 40 hours per week), you are entitled to time-and-a-half pay. Time-and-a half pay for overtime is not required by Virginia State Law, but is instead mandated by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and enforced by the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. If you have a claim for overtime pay, you should discuss your claim with an employment lawyer and submit it to the nearest federal Wage and Hour Division.
If you are unsure about how to file a claim for unpaid wages or unpaid overtime, or have general questions and concerns regarding employee wages, be sure to get in touch with a Virginia employment lawyer.
Virginia Employment Benefits
Employees in Virginia may be eligible for medical benefits, paid vacation days, sick leave, and life insurance, among other benefits. However, Virginia law does not require employers to provide any of these benefits, nor does an employer have to give his workers meal or other breaks unless the worker is under age 16. There is also no short term disability or paid maternity leave mandated under Virginia disability law, although there is 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave mandated under federal law in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Virginia disability law covers employees injured at their jobs or in work-related accidents. These employees are entitled to compensation that is dependent on the classification of their resulting disabilities. However, Virginia disability law does not require that specific benefits or compensation be provided for workers who become disabled because of an accident or illness unrelated to their jobs. You should speak to a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer and ask for an explanation of federal laws that may apply to your case, and how they work with Virginia laws.
Virginia Employment and Labor Law Statutes