Two new legal guidelines in Virginia offering incapacity discrimination protections and protections for medicinal use of hashish oil for workers go into impact July 1, 2021.
Virginia, as soon as referred to as a jurisdiction with only a few state employment legal guidelines, is rapidly altering that popularity with the passage of quite a few new legal guidelines because the Democrats took management of the state legislature in 2019. Employers working within the Commonwealth, who up to now may largely focus solely on federal employment legal guidelines, should pay attention to these new state legal guidelines and guarantee they’re in compliance.
Growth of Incapacity Discrimination Protections and Lodging Necessities
HB 1848 amends the Virginia Human Rights Act (“VHRA”) to supply extra employment protections to people with disabilities. Along with aligning current incapacity discrimination protections to these of the People with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by prohibiting discrimination in opposition to those that are certified to carry out the “important features of a job with or with out cheap lodging,” the legislation creates new cheap lodging necessities. Much like these supplied for by the ADA, the brand new legislation would require employers to supply cheap lodging mandatory to help in any other case certified individuals with a incapacity to carry out their job. Employers are required to interact in an excellent religion interactive course of when an worker requests an affordable lodging “to find out if the requested lodging is affordable and, if such lodging is set to not be cheap, talk about different lodging which may be supplied.”
Just like the ADA, the legislation incorporates an “undue burden” exception for the duty to supply cheap lodging. To avail itself of the exception, the employer should exhibit the lodging would impose undue hardship on the employer, assessed by issues resembling:
Hardship on the conduct of the employer’s enterprise, contemplating the character of the employer’s operation, together with composition and construction of the employer’s workforce.
Measurement of the ability the place employment happens.
The character and price of the lodging wanted, considering different sources of funding or technical help.
The likelihood that the identical lodging could also be utilized by different potential workers.
Security and well being issues of the individual with a incapacity, different workers, and the general public.
Employers can’t take adversarial motion in opposition to an worker as a result of they request or use cheap lodging, or refuse employment to candidates as a result of the employer might be required to supply them an affordable lodging. Employers are additionally barred from requiring an worker take depart if one other cheap lodging may be supplied.
Virginia employers also needs to notice that the brand new legislation requires employers to incorporate info on workers’ rights to cheap lodging for disabilities of their worker handbook and publish the identical in a “conspicuous” place on the location of employment. As well as, such info must be supplied on to workers on the graduation of their employment and inside 10 days of the worker offering discover to the employer that the worker has a incapacity.
New Protections for Staff Who Use Hashish Oil for Medicinal Functions
HB 1862 prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or discriminating in opposition to an worker for his or her “lawful use of hashish oil pursuant to a sound written certification issued by a practitioner for the remedy or to get rid of signs of the worker’s identified situation or illness.”
“Hashish oil” beneath the legislation is “any formulation of processed hashish plant extract, which can embody oil from industrial hemp extract acquired by a pharmaceutical processor pursuant to state legislation; or a dilution of the resin of the hashish plant that incorporates at the very least 5 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) and not more than 10 milligrams of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per dose.”
The legislation makes clear it doesn’t (i) limit an employer’s capability to take any adversarial employment motion for any work impairment or to ban possession throughout work hours, (ii) require an employer to commit any act that might trigger the employer to be in violation of federal legislation or that might outcome within the lack of a federal contract or federal funding.
As famous above these legal guidelines are set to take impact July 1, 2021.
© 2021 Proskauer Rose LLP. Nationwide Regulation Overview, Quantity XI, Quantity 175