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Blog: Opinions & Observations

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New Laws in Virginia 2024

June 26, 2024

The 2024 legislative session was a “long session” of 60 days which occurs every other year to adopt a new budget. There were a lot of new legislators, primarily due to redistricting. The first African American Speaker of the House was elected.Democrats control the House of Delegates and State Senate. Republicans hold the Governor’s Office. All bills must be approved by the General Assembly then signed by the Governor for final approval, therefore,...

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EEOC Issues Rule Affecting How Employers Must Treat Pregnant Workers

June 10, 2024

Last year, Congress passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”), which requires employers in the private sector with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for known limitations related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or “related medical conditions,” unless such accommodations will cause an undue hardship on the employer’s operations. While other laws prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy, the PWFA...

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Your Marriage May Be Over: How to Prepare for Meeting with a Divorce Attorney

May 24, 2024

We all know someone – a neighbor, friend, relative, or coworker - who feels like their marriage may be headed towards disaster … and undoubtedly some people reading this article are in this situation themselves. The feeling that your marriage may be heading toward divorce can be overwhelming, frightening, and downright depressing, but being prepared and taking control of the situation can help alleviate those sensations. This article is designed to help...

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Copyright Law, Collages, and Artists’ Rights

May 08, 2024

The Hampton Roads Region is home to a thriving and diverse population, including artists. Visual artists work with a myriad of mediums, including paints, clay, images, and a vast array of combinations of the same.A completed piece of artwork often goes beyond the ink on the canvas or the representation of the naked eye. Often, the piece is a culmination of untold hours of work, the interweaving of an artist’s skills and years of experience, and the...

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Meetings Under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act

April 09, 2024

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (“VFOIA”) If you work in local government within the Commonwealth, you are probably aware of VFOIA. If not, it is prudent that you familiarize yourself with this legislation, as it instructs how public bodies should operate in various respects. VFOIA, originally enacted in 1968, seeks to promote governmental transparency. The General Assembly clearly expressed this sentiment, stating that VFOIA “ensures the people...

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Restrictive Covenants Prohibiting Short-Term Rentals Upheld by Virginia Court of Appeals

March 07, 2024

Short-term rentals such as those listed on sites like Air B&B and VRBO are becoming more and more common across the Commonwealth. However, short-term rentals are controversial.  On one hand, they offer vacationers or business travelers an alternative to traditional hotels. They also provide an income source to homeowners who can rent out their homes (or portions of their homes) for short periods of time.  On the other hand, many of the short-term rental...

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“Employee” and “Employer” – Critical Terms to Understand When Reviewing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

December 14, 2023

Understanding the meanings of “employee” and “employer” under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act (“the Act”) is crucial in determining whether the Act applies.  The Act only applies to businesses with three or more employees.  If the injured worker was working for a business with less than three employees regularly in service, his/her injury is not covered under the Act, and he/she cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits.  Certain businesses...

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Contractor Mistakes: Legal Options for Virginia Homeowners Seeking Remedies

December 05, 2023

When homeowners find themselves dealing with the aftermath of a contractor's subpar or incomplete work, it can be a nerve-wracking experience, as the home is often the biggest and most significant asset that they will ever own. Be it the construction of a new home or the renovation of an older home, residential construction projects typically force homeowners to either heavily tax their bank accounts or encumber themselves with loans.Therefore, issues on...

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Groff v. DeJoy: The Supreme Court Changes the Rules for How Employers Must Accommodate Religious Beliefs

November 08, 2023

In June 2023, the United States Supreme Court released an opinion in Groff v. DeJoy that affects all employers who are faced with accommodating their employees’ religious practices and beliefs.Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based on their religion. The law requires employers to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs and practices, unless doing so would...

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Eminent Domain and Carbon Capture Technology

October 27, 2023

In the ongoing effort to address the threat of climate change, the federal government has set an ambitious goal of achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by midcentury.  While there is a concerted effort to reduce emissions from each sector of the economy, it is widely acknowledged that the goal cannot be achieved by emission reductions alone.  Instead, some sort of “carbon capture” technology will need to be developed.Carbon Capture TechnologyThe...

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