What Virginia Employers Need to Know to Navigate the New Employee-Friendly Laws in the Commonwealth

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Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Labor & Employment

Course Description

After years of being known as an employer-friendly state, the Virginia legislature has passed a number of new laws vastly expanding employee rights and remedies in the Commonwealth. As of July 1, 2020, Virginia employees have numerous new protections in the areas of employment discrimination, independent contractor classification, non-compete agreements, wage payment, and whistleblower protection. These laws will transform employment litigation in the Commonwealth as the new legislation provides powerful new protections for Virginia employees. After decades of litigating employment cases in federal court under laws that capped damages, plaintiffs will be seeking unlimited compensatory damages in the state courts. Combined with state court judges’ reluctance to grant summary judgment and the lack of state employment cases to follow, these new laws will inevitably result in costly trials. 

Please join experienced Virginia litigator Jacki Thompson to discuss the practical effects of the new laws and how best to minimize your risk of litigation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine the new Virginia Values Act
  2. Identify revised wage and hour laws
  3. Become familiar with the new prohibitions on non-compete agreements
  4. Explore how to avoid misclassification of employees
  5. Discuss the impact of the laws on state court versus federal court
  6. Avoid potential pitfalls associated with the new laws 

Credit Information

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Jacquelyn Thompson


Jacki Thompson concentrates her practice on labor relations and employment litigation representing management.

Jacki guides clients through all facets of traditional labor law, including collective bargaining negotiations, unfair labor practice cases before the National Labor Relations Board, advising on legal issues related to unionization, and picketing. She also defends employers in employment litigation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, various state agencies, and in state and federal courts against a variety of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases. In addition, Jacki counsels employers on a variety of issues, including employee terminations, how to avoid/resolve labor and employment disputes and litigation, and Title VII, FMLA, FLSA, and ADA compliance.

She has also assisted employers with the drafting of employment agreements, separation agreements, covenants not to compete, employee handbooks and policies, and pre-employment applications. Jacki has done extensive work in a number of industries, including health care, manufacturing, airline, restaurant and hotel management, and higher education.

During law school, Jacki was a member of The George Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law and was a student member of The George Washington Law School Academic Integrity Committee.