Virginia has historically been recognized as an employer-friendly jurisdiction. However, after the Democratic Party gained a political “trifecta” following the 2019 election cycle – where both houses of the state legislature and the governorship are now controlled by one political party -- the Commonwealth has enacted a series of new laws that have completely redefined the employment landscape.
These new laws are designed to provide broad protections for employees and increase employers’ liabilities in Virginia, and include, inter alia:
· Restrictions on covenants not to compete for low-wage workers;
· Expansion of employment discrimination protections for LGBT and pregnant employees;
· New private right of action and investigative authority regarding misclassification of workers as independent contractors; and
· Stricter penalties for employers who commit wage violations.
These new developments come on the heels of several other significant laws that took effect in 2019 and also imposed new obligations on Virginia employers. The new laws relating to employee disclosure of pay, restrictions on confidentiality in cases of sexual assault, and employee access to personnel records.
This course, presented by Joon Hwang and Melissa Harclerode of Littler Mendelson, P.C., the largest labor and employment firm globally, will examine this new wave of employment laws in Virginia, and explain the implications for both employers and employees, as well as best strategies to ensure compliance.
Examine this new wave of employment laws in Virginia
Identify the potential implications for both employers and employees
Develop strategies to ensure compliance with the new mandates
Melissa Harclerode concentrates her practice on employee benefits, OSHA and employment law matters. Melissa’s practice includes broad experience representing employers and their fiduciaries in multiemployer withdrawal liability disputes, and all aspects of OSHA-related issues, ranging from OSHA’s informal public hearings on proposed rules to litigation defense against OSHA enforcement actions. Melissa’s practice also centers on defending employers in discrimination and retaliation, and wage and hour actions in federal and state courts. Melissa also counsels and advises employers in matters involving fiduciary duty, ERISA liability, and federal compliance. Prior to joining Littler, Melissa was an attorney at a federal agency where she gained detailed knowledge of federal and state regulations concerning employee benefits and defined benefit pension plans.
Professional and Community Affiliations
• Member, American Bar Association
• Member, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 2013
B.A., New York University, 2010
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Publications & Press
Virginia is the First State to Implement COVID-19 Emergency Standard
July 16, 2020
The Next Normal: A Littler Interview with Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and
May 12, 2020
The Next Normal: A Littler Insight on Returning to Work – Safety, and Health
April 22, 2020
Joon Hwang represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He has successfully defended clients in scores of complex, high profile individual, class, and collective actions; countless mediations and arbitration proceedings; and achieved exceptional outcomes in state, federal, and appellate courts as well as administrative agencies. A highly recognized and skilled litigator, Joon understands his clients' business objectives, and his pre-litigation and litigation strategies are designed to efficiently meet clients' business goals and minimize risks. Joon's practice resides in the Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland region, but he has represented international, national, and regional clients across the country, including New York and California.
Joon’s nationwide practice includes:
Joon works with a diverse range of clients in industries such as government contracting, consulting, technology, health care, transportation, construction, telecommunications, retail, insurance, staffing, higher education, and professional sports. His clients also include U.S. subsidiaries of multinational Korean conglomerates as well as emerging growth companies, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.
Joon is the Virginia liaison for Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute (WPI), which partners with employers to engage in legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts on issues that impact the workplace. Joon focuses on Virginia state legislative and regulatory developments in employment and labor law, as well as municipal ordinances and regulation of the workplace. He assists the employer community in understanding and impacting Virginia legislation before it becomes law. Joon has been published in a variety of publications, including Bloomberg Law and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and routinely speaks on employment-related issues to businesses and human resource groups.
From 2016-2019, Joon served on Littler’s Diversity and Inclusion Council responsible for creating, implementing, and reviewing firmwide diversity and inclusion strategies, including enhancing the firm’s recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys, and creating pipelines in which lawyers from diverse backgrounds are promoted within the firm’s management and leadership tracks. He has also devoted substantial time to the success of Littler’s award-winning Career Advocacy Program (CAP), a signature diversity and inclusion initiative of the firm.
Previously, Joon was a judicial clerk to the Honorable James C. Fox of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Outstanding review of new labor laws.
Great overview. Impressive.
It's brand new law. I think the presenters did as well as they could all things considered
Excellent information, thank you.
very informative and well presented
Very good presentation and speakers. A good comprehensive guide to all the changes in the law.