Labor and Employment


Polygraph tests. Prohibits regional jails from requiring employees to submit to lie detector tests or discriminating against employees who refuse to take such tests, except when related to internal administrative investigations alleging misconduct or criminal activity. The same prohibition currently applies to law-enforcement personnel.
Patron - Davies

Labor; migrant workers. Authorizes the Virginia Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Board to request and receive, in the name of the Board and for its benefit and that of the Interagency Migrant Worker Policy Committee, periodic reports from persons or entities receiving federal grants or other federal funding for the purpose of assisting the Commonwealth's migrant and seasonal farm worker population. The bill also adds a provision requiring representation from the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission on the Interagency Migrant Worker Policy Committee. The bill also contains technical amendments.
Patron - Almand

Employment; solicitation and sales. Allows persons to place advertisements or literature on or near a business or private residence without first obtaining a permit from the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, so long as there is no attempt, in person, to solicit commercial business or make a sale at the time of the placement. Presently, any person engaged in or employing others in any trade in any street or public place must first obtain a permit from the Commissioner of Labor and Industry in order to conduct such business. This bill creates a limited exemption from that permit requirement.
Patron - Kilgore

Labor and employment; exemptions from child labor laws. Exempts 13- and 14-year-olds working as paid youth association referee officials from provisions of Virginia's child labor laws.
Patron - Bloxom


Labor and employment; inspection of personnel files. Authorizes employees to inspect, review, and copy materials contained in their personnel files. A "personnel file" includes applications for employment, wage or salary information, notices of commendations, warning or discipline notices, authorization for a deduction or withholding of pay, fringe benefit information, leave records, employment history with the employer, salary information, job title and dates of change, retirement record, attendance records and performance evaluations. A "personnel file" does not include records of an employee relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense; letters of reference; documents which are being developed or prepared for use in civil, criminal or grievance procedures; or medical records. The bill authorizes an employee to photocopy his personnel file, but also establishes that personnel files are the property of the employer. The Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry is responsible for administering the provisions of this bill, and may promulgate any regulations necessary for enforcement. Additionally, any person who suffers loss as a result of a violation of this bill may initiate an action to recover damages and attorney's fees.
Patron - Orrock

Labor and employment; governmental employee associations. Permits employees of the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, or of any governmental agency of any of them to form associations for the purpose of discussing their interests with their employing agencies, whenever such agencies agree to engage in such discussions. Current law permits these governmental employees to form such associations for the purpose of promoting their interests before their employing agencies.
Patron - Darner

Virginia Employment Commission; filing reports for domestic wages. Directs the Virginia Employment Commission to develop an alternative annual wage-reporting mechanism authorizing households reporting domestic wages to file annually with the Virginia Employment Commission rather than quarterly.
Patron - Van Landingham

Virginia Employment Relationships Act. Limits tort claims arising out of at-will employment terminations. The bill (i) reiterates the common law "employment at will" doctrine (permitting employments of indefinite duration to be terminated at the will of either the employer or employee) and (ii) limits employee remedies concerning at-will employment terminations violating statute to the remedies, if any, furnished by the statute in question. However, the bill does allow a terminated employee to bring an action in tort against his employer if his termination violates a statutory law providing no termination-related remedies if the termination was in retaliation for (i) the employee's refusal to commit an act in violation of the Virginia Constitution or a Virginia statute, (ii) the employee's disclosure to proper authorities of the employer's violation of the Virginia Constitution or a Virginia statute, (iii) the employee's exercise of rights under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act, or (iv) the employee's exercise of his right to be free from the extortion of fees or gratuities as a condition of employment. The bill also confers a right to termination-related civil relief upon public employees with guarantees of continued employment provided under state or federal constitutions, statutes, regulations or policies.
Patron - Croshaw

Labor and employment; payment of wages and salaries. Allows employers to pay the wages or salaries of their employees by electronic automated transfer. This bill removes provisions of law that permitted an employee to prevent automated payment by refusing to designate a financial institution to receive the funds, thereby requiring the employer to render payment by check or cash. The wages or salary of the employee may be transferred to the financial institution designated by the employee, unless such employee fails to designate such institution. If the employee fails to designate a financial institution to receive the wages or salary, the wages or salary may be transferred to a financial institution authorized to do business in the Commonwealth and selected by the employer after providing thirty days' written notice to the employee.
Patron - Reynolds

Carried Over

Labor; employer misconduct; safety and health standards. Treats an employee's injury or death caused by his employer's (i) willful attempt to injure or kill such employee, (ii) intoxication, (iii) willful failure or refusal to supply a safety appliance or perform a duty required by statute, (iv) violation of any workplace rule or regulation adopted by such employer, or (v) use of a nonprescribed controlled substance identified as such in Chapter 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1, as violations of the safety and health standards of the Commonwealth, and subject to all sanctions as such, including those that may be imposed by the Commissioner of Labor and Industry.
Patron - Hull