“There’s basically no incentive for employers to pay their workers on time under Virginia law because the penalty is, ‘Ok, fine, pay … WHAT WE DO Significant expansion of Virginia’s wage payment law Governor Northam signed into law two somewhat conflicting bills (H.B. Since the Wage Theft Law allows for the availability of increased damages for prevailing employees, it could bring an onslaught of new claims in Virginia. Now, investigations can be expanded beyond an individual worker to suspected wage theft violations with respect to any and all employees at a given workplace. These amendments under Virginia’s Wage Payment Act (“VWPA”) are the first of its kind and provide enhanced protections for employees who are victims of wage theft by creating a private cause of action for employees to sue their employers to recover … Wage theft is the illegal underpayment or nonpayment of a worker’s wages. The Wage Theft Law also expands the relief available to prevailing plaintiffs and their attorneys, incentivizing state law wage and hour lawsuits against employers. Thus, employers rarely faced wage and hour lawsuits in state court. Finally, the new law enhances potential criminal penalties for wage theft where the theft was done “willfully and with the intent to defraud.” This is a higher standard than “knowingly.” Employers who intentionally steal wages can be found guilty of a misdemeanor (for amounts less than $10,000) and for a felony (for amounts higher than $10,000). See McGuireWoods alerts discussing LGBTQ Under the new law, a “covenant not to compete” or non-compete agreement is an … Virginia labor laws have historically been friendly to employers. For more information, call the Employee Rights attorneys at Herrmann law. combating independent contractor misclassification, a €Before this law, employees could only file a claim with the Virginia Department of Labor and Before this law, employees could only file a claim with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. Please note that unsolicited emails and attached information sent to McGuireWoods or a firm attorney via this website do not create an attorney-client relationship. Broadened Authority To Investigate Wage Theft Claims: House Bill 336 / Senate Bill 49 allows the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (“DOLI”) to investigate employers’ failure to pay wages in accordance with the VWPA. WHY US Wage theft—the practice of employers unfairly compensating their employees—is a serious offense, and unfortunately a common one as well. RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Laborers hired to work on some of Virginia’s major construction projects, including the new General Assembly Building and Virginia Commonwealth University’s new outpatient facility in Richmond, are accusing the subcontractors that employed them of wage theft in two federal … The information on this website is informational and you should not rely on it instead of legal advice specific to your situation. As it did previously, the Wage Theft Law also carries potential criminal penalties for violations made willfully and with the intent to defraud. They’re also calling for the department to step up enforcement against employers who have been credibly accused of wage theft, with fines and additional referrals to law enforcement. /wp-content/uploads/2018/10/logo-406-x-331.png, https://paycheckcollector.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/virginia-wage-theft-scaled.jpg, Copyright Herrmann Law. Among the most significant changes are these: In addition, the Virginia labor agencies have been given expanded powers. Wage theft happens in a variety of ways. enacting "wage theft laws" that aim to increase employer compliance with the law. This is a first of its kind in Virginia. This new law, which becomes effective on July 1, 2020, dramatically alters Virginia’s wage and hour landscape in the following ways: New Private Right of Action: Currently, Virginia employees cannot sue their employers directly for … That means we may disclose unsolicited emails and attachments to third parties, and your unsolicited communications will not prevent any lawyer in our firm from representing a party and using the unsolicited communications against you. As such, Virginia employees were often victimized and without proper recourse to recover their wrongfully withheld wages. The new wage theft law also has “teeth” in that it grants all Virginia employees the right to file suit against their employer, individually or collectively, to recover unpaid wages. The new wage theft law also has “teeth” in that it grants all Virginia employees the right to file suit against their employer, individually or collectively, to recover unpaid wages. If an employer is found to have misclassified a worker or a group of workers as independent contractors, the employer could be responsible for paying (1) wages owed, (2) liquidated damages equal to the wages owed, and (3) the plaintiff’s … Virginia’s “Wage Theft Law” Authorizes Threefold Liquidated Damages and FLSA-Styled Collective Action Treatment of Employees’ Claims In HB 123, the “Wage Theft Law” creates a novel, private right of action for employees to sue employers for unpaid wages. 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