September 23, 2023

These six legal guidelines might have financial implications on the lives of Virginians, boosting their wages, giving them extra rights on the job, and an entire lot extra.

By the point the Virginia Normal Meeting wrapped up its 45-day legislative session earlier this 12 months, greater than 3,000 payments had been launched and over half of them have been handed and signed into state regulation.

These legal guidelines lined every little thing from sexual harassment and abortion to LGBTQ points, wage fairness, and small enterprise financing. 

Per Virginia state code, just about all the legal guidelines enacted through the session are set to take impact on July 1, so let’s check out six that would have financial implications on the lives of Virginians, boosting their wages, giving them extra rights on the job, and an entire lot extra.

Home Invoice 1924 

Home Invoice (HB) 1924 has to do with minimal wage necessities for folks with disabilities. 

At the moment, a piece of the Truthful Labor Requirements Act, which was enacted in 1938, permits employers to pay staff impacted by a bodily, developmental, cognitive, psychological, or age-related incapacity decrease than the minimal wage. The nationwide common for employees being paid subminimum wage is simply $3.34 an hour, in response to a 2020 report from the US Fee on Civil Rights.

Home Invoice 1924 will section out this sub-standard minimal wage in Virginia and can dovetail with the Incapacity Innovation Fund grant that was awarded to the commonwealth final 12 months. Collectively, HB 1924 and the grant will transition a whole bunch of disabled Virginians nonetheless being paid beneath minimal wage to a habitable wage. 

Organizations throughout Virginia have lauded HB 1924, saying that it’s a crucial step in guaranteeing that these with disabilities are handled pretty within the office. A few of these organizations embrace the Nationwide Down Syndrome Society, the Nationwide Federation of the Blind of Virginia, and the Virginia Board for Individuals with Disabilities. 

“Wage fairness is social fairness,” Kandi Pickard, president and CEO of the Nationwide Down Syndrome Society mentioned in a press release. “Eliminating subminimum wage is essential to not solely the incapacity group however to the state as an entire.”

The invoice was launched by Democratic Del. Patrick Hope of Arlington County.

Senate Invoice 1040

Senate Invoice (SB) 1040 will prohibit Virginia employers from utilizing an worker’s social safety quantity (or any a part of it, such because the final 4 digits) on any identification badge or entry card that’s issued. 

When Social Safety numbers have been first launched in 1936, they have been used for “the only objective” of monitoring the earnings historical past of employees for advantages, in response to the Social Safety Administration. In recent times, the numbers have turn out to be a key methodology of identification, nevertheless. Due to this, tens of millions of social safety numbers have been uncovered in recent times to hackers at locations such because the US Postal Service, a hospital community, and Anthem medical insurance. 

This new regulation will finally make sure the privateness of tens of millions of Virginians and assist defend them from id theft. 

Based on the Virginia Division of Labor and Trade (L&I), if any employer knowingly violates this regulation, they are going to be topic to a civil penalty “to not exceed $100 for every violation.” Any employer that the commissioner of L&I alleges has violated the regulation might be knowledgeable by licensed mail. If the employer want to problem this, they need to request an “casual convention,” or listening to, relating to the violation. 

SB 1040 additionally offers the commissioner or their approved consultant authority to hunt injunctive reduction for the regulation’s enforcement.

The invoice was launched by Democratic Senator Jeremy S. McPike, who represents all of Manassas Metropolis, Manassas Park Metropolis, and a part of Prince William County. 

Home Invoice 1895

Home Invoice 1895, also referred to as the “The Silenced No Extra Act,” has to do with sexual harassment and nondisclosure, or confidentiality, agreements.

Virginia regulation presently prohibits confidentiality clauses associated to claims of sexual assault in employment agreements. Home Invoice 1895 will broaden the regulation to cowl claims of sexual harassment as nicely and can make any confidentiality agreements that may bar dialogue of conduct at a previous office, at work occasions, or between staff and employers null and void. 

The regulation may even make it unlawful to incorporate any clauses in employment agreements that “have the aim or impact” of concealing particulars associated to sexual assault and harassment claims. The amended regulation may even apply to agreements which can be entered into “as a situation of employment.” 

Whereas the regulation makes confidentiality clauses associated to sexual harassment void, employers should still embrace confidentiality clauses in severance and post-termination settlement agreements when an worker is let go from their job. 

In March, the Nationwide Labor Relations Board declared that confidentiality provisions are “illegal in most circumstances.”

At a press convention earlier this 12 months, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax)—who launched the invoice—mentioned that it’s a “pro-business, law-and-order invoice geared toward additional enhancing NDAs.”

“You would possibly ask me how,” she added, earlier than offering the reply: “By cracking down on illicit conduct and stopping dangerous actors from getting away with these unlawful acts of discrimination, retaliation, assault, harassment, office violations, waste, and abuse.”

Home Invoice 1517 

Many people have signed up for a free trial of a streaming service and forgotten to cancel earlier than getting charged when the trial is up. Home Invoice 1517 goals to handle that situation and extra. 

HB 1517 would require any enterprise that provides a free trial that lasts greater than 30 days to inform the patron of their choice to cancel inside 30 days of the free trial ending. If an organization fails to do that, they are going to be in violation of Virginia Shopper Safety Act (VCPA). 

Companies may even be in violation of the act in the event that they fail to reveal the “complete price of an excellent or steady service to a shopper” previous to them paying for it. This is applicable to any necessary charges or fees, as nicely. For a confirmed VCPA violation, the patron could get well precise damages or $500, whichever is increased. 

Like different clauses of the Virginia Shopper Safety Act, HB 1517 will defend shoppers from “fraud, deception, and misrepresentation.” 

This invoice was launched by Democratic Del. Daybreak M. Adams, who represents components of Chesterfield County, Henrico County, and a part of Richmond. 

Senate Invoice 1086 

Senate Invoice 1086 would require Virginia employers with 50 or extra staff to supply not less than 60 enterprise days of unpaid depart to eligible employees who donate a number of physique organs. It’ll additionally require them to supply not less than 30 enterprise days of unpaid depart to staff who donate bone marrow.

To be eligible, staff will need to have been employed at their present job for not less than a 12 months, and will need to have labored not less than 1,250 hours at that job within the earlier 12 months. A doctor should additionally present documentation stating that the worker is an organ or bone marrow donor and that the donation is medically needed.

Whereas the depart is unpaid, the regulation requires that employers restore staff who take this depart to the place they held earlier than they took the depart or to an equal place with equal pay and advantages. Employers should preserve protection of the worker’s medical insurance whereas they’re taking the depart, as nicely. 

The invoice may even make it so employers are prohibited from contemplating organ donation depart because it applies to the worker’s proper to wage changes, sick depart, trip, and extra. Workers may even nonetheless have the ability to take federal household and medical depart throughout the similar 12 months below SB 1086.

Employers may even be topic to fines of as much as $5,000 in the event that they violate this regulation, relying on whether or not it’s the first, second, or a successive violation. 

Based on the Society for Human Useful resource Administration, “employers can save lives by means of organ donation assist.” This regulation will assist facilitate that by making it simpler for working Virginians to donate.

This invoice was launched by Democratic Senator Adam P. Ebbin, who represents components of Alexandria Metropolis, Arlington County, and Fairfax County.

Senate Invoice 1320 and Home Invoice 1411 

Senate Invoice 1320 and its accompanying invoice within the Home, HB 1411, will codify and supply extra funding to the Virginia Neighborhood Improvement Monetary Establishment Fund (VA CDFI Fund).

In 2021, Virginia created a state-funded group improvement monetary establishment (CDFI) to supply credit score and monetary companies to underserved markets and populations, together with to communities of coloration, which have traditionally confronted appreciable challenges in accessing banking companies.

Based on the Virginia CDFI Coalition, a nonprofit which seeks to handle the monetary wants of Virginians, creating the VA CDFI Fund “expanded inclusive financial alternatives all through the Commonwealth.” Since its creation, the fund has deployed almost $1.7 million in loans to over 160 small companies, ensuing within the creation and/or retention of over 300 jobs throughout the state.

Codifying and offering extra funding to the VA CDFI Fund will “broaden financial alternative throughout Virginia,” in response to US Rep. Jennifer McClellan, who launched the invoice whereas serving within the state Senate, previous to her election to Congress in March. 

“CDFIs are constructed to drive capital and supply banking sources for under-resourced communities, and they’re a crucial instrument for addressing the housing disaster,” Leah Fremouw, president and CEO of the nonprofit Bridging Virginia and president of the Virginia CDFI Coalition, mentioned in a press release. “Establishing a constant funding supply permits CDFIs to not solely handle essentially the most pressing points however to coordinate on long-term, sustainable options.”

The invoice within the Home was launched by Republican Del. Daniel W. Marshall, who represents components of Henry and Pittsylvania counties, in addition to a part of Danville.