Virginia News & Analysis

  • Workplace Trends

    Research finds lack of mentorship and coaching. New data from media agency network Mindshare U.S. found that 42% of U.S. employees said their companies either don't offer mentorship programs or don't offer enough of them. Men were more likely than women to say they either got enough or more than enough mentorship programs at work, at 57% versus 42%. The research also found that 66% of U.S. employees rank ongoing feedback or coaching on their work as an important or very important benefit in the workplace. Yet 28% of people surveyed said that they either don't get enough ongoing coaching or feedback or that their companies don't even offer it. The data showed that women were more likely than men to feel that way, at 31% versus 25%.

  • U.S. Supreme Court to decide if Title VII protects LGBT workers

    Since last year, we have been watching the U.S. Supreme Court to see whether it will hear a trio of cases that gave conflicting answers to the question of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's ban on discrimination "based on . . . sex" protects LGBT workers. That burning question has been simmering for years, and now the Supreme Court is poised to take on the Title VII quandary.

    The trifecta of cases, Altitude Express v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC, were initially set for Supreme Court consideration last September. But the Court punted then and continued to do so until last month. On April 22, 2019, the high court finally decided to move forward and hear the cases. After much waiting, we finally know the Supreme Court will weigh in on the question and issue the final word on the scope of Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination.

  • Don't get caught in the ADA web: Make sure your website is accessible

    By now, most of you know your workplaces must be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Potential accommodations can include installing a wheelchair ramp or providing assistive technology to employees with visual or hearing impairments. You also probably know you have a duty to maintain ADA compliance for potential customers if your business is a "place of public accommodation," which includes virtually any business that engages in commerce with the public. But what you may not realize is that the ADA can even require you to make your commercial website accessible to people with disabilities, particularly consumers with visual impairments.

  • DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers

    After more than 25 years, you might think questions regarding proper interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be settled. It's a highly regulated law, and it provides employers far more detail and clarity than they get with most other labor and employment laws.

  • Tips to ensure you are prepared for a deposition

    For an HR professional, giving a deposition is a lot like visiting the dentist. You know it's necessary, but you probably aren't looking forward to it. You may be asked questions you don't want to answer (like how often you actually floss). And finally, consistently responsible practices should reduce your stress levels about the event, make it go a lot smoother, and prevent worse problems in the future.

  • Message from the editor

    If you've been keeping abreast of the business news this spring, you've probably read all the hype involving the initial public offering (IPO) of the ride-share service Lyft, which has been valued at more than $20 billion. Lyft's larger competitor, Uber, went public this month, and experts predict its valuation will reach higher in the stock stratosphere, topping $100 billion. I find it amazing that not only are these companies valued higher than well-established companies like GM, Ford, and 21st Century Fox, but neither has ever operated in the black. Indeed, Lyft lost almost $1 billion last year, and Uber lost $3 billion.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB chair claims joint-employment comment review not outsourced. Responding to concerns from congressional Democrats, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chair John F. Ring says his agency is not outsourcing the review of public comments on the joint-employer standard. In March, Ring wrote a letter to Bobby Scott, chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Frederica S. Wilson, chair of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor & Pensions, saying the Board has not outsourced the substantive review of comments on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on what constitutes joint employment. Instead, he said the NLRB decided "to engage temporary support on a limited, short-term basis to perform the initial sorting and coding of the public comments." He said the process ensures confidentiality protections are in place, and the Board's professionals will perform the first substantive review of the comments.

  • Everybody talks about sex—but can employers be held liable?

    Imagine this: Two individuals start a job at the same time. Quickly, management recognizes one employee's hard work and dedication and promotes her. In a short time, the employee ascending the corporate ladder becomes the superior of the employee with whom she had onboarded. The nonpromoted employee becomes jealous and resentful. To this employee, there must be some reason not based on merit why the other employee has advanced. Whether true or not, the nonpromoted employee starts spreading a rumor—the promoted employee "slept" her way to the top.

  • Supreme Court punts (into spring) on protections for LGBT workers

    Since December 2018, we have been examining the state of the law concerning the scope of Title VII and its application to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We have been following whether the U.S. Supreme Court will resolve the diverging opinions in the various federal courts of appeals on this important issue. It has been a few months since we last reported on the status of the issue. So, here goes.

  • Know the legal issues you face when employees work past 65

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 are still employed. That number has been steadily rising, and it's expected to reach 36 percent over the next five years.