Virginia News & Analysis

  • NJ Supreme Court provides guidance on expansive scope of PWFA

    The New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued its first published decision addressing the New Jersey Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), the amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) that protects pregnant and breastfeeding employees from workplace discrimination. In a 7-0 decision, the court articulated three separate claims for pregnant employees in the workplace. Employers must review not only their written policies but also undocumented, informal practices that directly and indirectly affect pregnant employees in the workplace.

  • NJ district court strikes down NJLAD's prohibition against arbitration

    In early 2021, the Monmouth County Law Division found an amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) that prohibits a waiver of any right or remedy available under the Act was superseded by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In a separate decision on March 25, the district court followed suit and barred the state attorney general (AG) from enforcing Section 12.7 of the NJLAD, which would have invalidated arbitration agreements between employers and employees. The decision represents a significant victory for employers on the enforceability of arbitration agreements in harassment, discrimination, and retaliation cases in the state.

  • Employer's mandatory vaccination policy update

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance has confirmed employers may require a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment and/or to return to the workplace. Employers that choose to do so, however, need to be careful about how they implement the vaccine requirements.

  • Acting NLRB General Counsel announces enforcement priorities

    Following the practice of his recent predecessors, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel (GC) Peter Sung Ohr announced his office's enforcement priorities in a memorandum published on March 31, 2021 (GC 21-03). Generally, the memo addresses cases alleging discrimination based on protected concerted activities.

  • Going back to the office? Experts have some safety, comfort advice

    The COVID-19 restrictions that have kept many people in their home offices for more than a year are starting to ease, and more employers are bringing people back to the office at least part-time. But the return shouldn't be as simple as just throwing open the doors. Social distancing, cleaning protocols, and air quality concerns need to be considered, health and office design experts say.

  • Unions looking to Biden administration for new energy

    Union leaders have seen membership numbers dwindle for decades. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released in January show the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions—the union membership rate—was 10.8% in 2020. Compare that statistic to the union membership rate in 1983, the first year for which comparable data are available, when the number was 20.1%. Despite the numbers, union proponents tout possible new signs of vitality for organized labor.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Research shows higher price for hiring mistakes. Research from staffing firm Robert Half shows the cost of a bad hire has increased from a year ago. Seventy-six percent of senior managers surveyed for the research, which was announced in March, admitted to recruiting the wrong candidate for a role, and 64% said the negative impact was more severe than it was a year ago. Senior managers said it took 10 weeks, on average, to realize the person was a poor match and to let the employee go. Then, it took an additional six weeks to restaff the role. Thats a total of 16 weeksfour monthsof time squandered on a recruiting blunder. According to the research, which looked at 28 major metropolitan U.S. cities, some employers take even more time to correct a hiring mistake: Seattle, 26 weeks; Minneapolis, 25 weeks; Los Angeles, 23 weeks; Boston, 20 weeks; Dallas, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, 19 weeks; Miami and New York, 18 weeks; and Cleveland, Denver, and San Diego, 17 weeks.

  • Federal Watch

    NLRB withdraws proposed rule on student employment. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has withdrawn a proposed rule on undergraduate and graduate students. The proposed rule would have exempted from the Boards jurisdiction students who perform services for financial compensation in connection with their studies by declaring them not to be employees within the meaning of Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRBs announcement said it decided to withdraw the rulemaking in order to focus its limited resources on competing agency priorities, including the adjudication of unfair labor practice and representation cases currently in progress.

  • Let's go to the tape: NJ Appellate Division rules video dooms nurse's age claim

    The New Jersey Appellate Division recently upheld the dismissal of a 49-year-old nurse's age discrimination case against St. Peter's University Hospital. The nurse, who was fired after using force to restrain a hospital patient, claimed the incident was merely a pretext (or cover-up) for age bias, even though the surveillance video demonstrated otherwise.

  • Correlation doesn't imply causation in disability bias case, NJ court rules

    A former employee claimed Urban Outfitters wrongfully discharged her because of her disability and sued the company for wrongful termination, hostile work environment, and retaliation under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). But the New Jersey Appellate Division recently affirmed the trial court's dismissal, finding she had failed to produce any evidence to substantiate her claims.