Frequently Asked Questions: Labor & Employment Law
- If an employee believes he has been terminated unfairly, does he have a legal right to challenge the termination?
Virginia is an employment-at-will state; this means the employer may terminate any employee at any time, for any reason, or for no reason. As a general rule, therefore, the employee has no right to challenge the termination. There are a few very limited exceptions. For example, an employee may not be discriminated against or terminated because he has filed a safety complaint or exercised his rights under OSHA law. Virginia Code § 40.1-51.2:1. Also, federal law protects employees from discrimination because of age, race, sex, religion, national origin or handicap.
- Who handles discrimination questions?
If the employee believes he has been discriminated against because of his age, race, sex, religion, national origin or disability, he may be protected by federal discrimination laws, and a complaint may be filed with 1) the Virginia Council on Human Rights, Suite 1202, Washington Building, 1100 Bank Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219, phone (804) 225-2292; or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 830 E. Main Street, Suite 600, Richmond, Virginia 23219; phone (804) 771-2200.
- Does an employer have to provide employees breaks or a meal period?
No, unless the employee is under the age of 16.
- Are there any restrictions as to how many hours an employee can be required to work or when he may work?
No, not after an employee attains his 16th birthday.
- Who handles unemployment compensation questions?
The Virginia Employment Commission; contact the closest field office. These offices can be located here.
- Who handles workers' compensation questions?
The Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission; contact the closest regional office, or the Richmond Central office, 1000 DMV Drive, Richmond, Virginia 23220, toll free 1-877-664-2566.
- Who handles overtime issues?
The United States Department of Labor; Wage and Hour Division, 400 North 8th Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23240, phone (804) 771-2995.