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Virginia Severance Agreements
This post was originally published in March, 2013. We’re re-posting in case you missed it.  The purpose of a separation/severance agreement is to minimize risk from employment termination, to compensate an employee for employment loss, and, contractually, to finalize the employment relationship. It is an important tool for employers. Here’s what you need to know about
Starting a business partnership
This post was originally published in May, 2012. We’re re-posting in case you missed it.  Introduction You may have had a conversation with a friend about how you would do well as business partners. Or perhaps an industry contact suggests participating in a startup. Sharing ownership of a business with another person can have significant
This post was originally published in August, 2004. We’re re-posting in case you missed it.  Employers have long engaged in monitoring employees to help maintain quality standards, protect against untrustworthy employees, and shield the company against potential liability. Advances in technology have made electronic methods of monitoring easily available and effective. While federal and Virginia
In a recent Fourth Circuit case, Owen v. County of Franklin, the court answered the question of whether a person who rejects a supervisor’s sexual advances has engaged in “protected activity” under a Title VII retaliation claim. The court’s decision expanded the definition of “protected activity” under Title VII, and employers should familiarize themselves with what this could
It should be clear that when an employee engages in lawful, protected activity, an employer may not retaliate by firing the employee.  Any subsequent firing must be based on separate and distinct conduct which warrants firing. A recently decided Fourth Circuit case, Carmack v. Commonwealth of Virginia, establishes that the passage of time may not
Employee handbook update
This post was originally published in January, 2004. We’re re-posting in case you missed it.  Now that the holiday season is over, it is time for employers to focus on ways to improve their companies. One of the more important ways to do this is by is updating (or creating) a company employee handbook. I
Employer responsibility for employee rumors
A recent Fourth Circuit case decision could have wide-ranging implications for business owners throughout Virginia and should put employers on notice not to take workplace gossip lightly. Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, Inc., considers the question of whether a false rumor that a female employee slept with her male boss to obtain a promotion can
This post was originally published in November, 2009. We’re re-posting in case you missed it.  It would be devastating for a Coca-Cola executive to jump ship to Pepsi Co. and spill all of his or her accumulated knowledge about how Coca-Cola does its business to its longstanding competitor. The same may be true of your
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