Under Federal law, an employer can be held liable for sexual harassment among co-employees, regardless of whether one has supervisory authority over the other. However, the employer will not be held liable if it promptly responds in a reasonable manner to stop the harassment. Additionally, to sustain a Title VII claim, the plaintiff must allege that the employer allowed harassment that was severe or pervasive. In Davis v. City of Charlottesville School Board, 2011 U.S. Dist.
While Virginia strongly adheres to the employment-at-will doctrine, many employers have worried that the Virginia Supreme Court’s recognition of a public policy exception to this doctrine would make employers vulnerable to a host of wrongful discharge claims. However, a Federal Court has recently emphasized the narrowness of this public policy exception, refusing to expand its reach, even to a situation where the employer’s actions “offend[ed] the conscience of the Court.” The case is Shomo v. Junior
In a recent decision that the court acknowledged would disappoint employers hoping to rein in rogue employees, the Fourth Circuit refused to apply the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) to workers who access computers or information in bad faith, or who disregard a technology use policy. That decision is WEC Carolina Energy Solutions, LLC v. Miller. The CFAA is primarily a criminal statute designed to combat computer hackers. However, the statute also provides a
As a recent lawsuit shows, an employer can generally discipline an at-will employee for such conduct, and may even bring legal action against him or her. (Employment at will is the default and most common employment relationship, allowing termination for any reason or no reason.) Before reacting, however, an employer should take care to avoid several common pitfalls. Important legal considerations apply that employers should know about before they take action against an employee who has posted
Every employer knows that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that nonexempt employees be paid the federal minimum wage for all time worked and that they receive overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Employers are also keenly aware of the need to maintain time records that document the employee’s hours. If employees are not paid for all time worked, significant monetary liability can result. Some employers have adopted