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Employment Laws in Virginia

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on April 9, 2013.

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Employers in Virginia must conform to these state rules relating to the employment relationship.

Private employers are covered under Virginia's Human Rights Act.

Prohibited Employment Discrimination

Employers are prohibited from basing hiring or employment decisions on the following discriminatory bases:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • national origin
  • sex
  • age
  • marital status
  • disability
  • genetic characteristics

In addition, no one employing more than five but less than 15 employees may discharge any employee on the basis of:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • national origin
  • sex
  • age, if the employee is 40 years of age or older

Prohibited discrimination based on sex or gender includes discrimination because of, or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Arrest records. Employers may not require that job applicants disclose information about arrests or criminal charges that have been expunged from the applicant's record.

Fair Employment Contracting Act. Contracting agencies must not engage in unlawful discriminatory practices in the awarding of contracts.

Crime victims and court attendance. Employers are required to allow an employee who is the victim of a crime to leave work to exercise his or her right to be present at criminal proceedings related to the crime. Employers are not required to compensate employees for the time away from work. An employer may limit the leave if it creates an undue hardship.

An employer cannot refuse to hire or employ, cannot bar or discharge from employment, and cannot otherwise discriminate in terms of employment against an individual who is a crime victim based on the person's exercising of his or her right to leave work to attend a criminal proceeding.

Personal identifying information protection. Effective July 1, 2013, employers are prohibited from releasing, communicating, or distributing to a third party personal identifying information on current and former employees such as a home telephone number, mobile telephone number, email address, shift times, or work schedules. This would not apply, however, where the information is:

  • required under federal law that would preempt state law;
  • ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  • required pursuant to a warrant issued by a judicial officer; or
  • required by a subpoena issued in a pending civil or criminal case or by discovery in a civil case.

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