What new Virginia Human Rights Act means to you
Written by our employment lawyers in Virginia Beach
The passage of the Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA) is something that every Virginia worker should know about. Beginning July 1, 2020, Virginia employees are getting additional legal protection.
For more than a decade, our employment lawyers in Virginia Beach have handled discrimination lawsuits for individuals throughout Hampton Roads, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth.
Before the passage of the VHRA, any company that discriminated against its employees was exempt from a lawsuit under Virginia law if it had 15 or more employees. Any lawsuit against any of those employers would have to be filed in federal court. Federal court is much friendlier to defendants procedurally and many cases would be dismissed before ever getting to a jury.
The VHRA says that now any employer with more than 5 employees is subject to the state law, and a discrimination lawsuit can be brought in state court. For a number of reasons, a discrimination case is more likely to get to a jury in state court. Therefore, injured workers in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and throughout Virginia are much more likely to have their day in court.
Furthermore, the state court action has no limit on damages. Federal discrimination lawsuits allow maximum damages of $300,000 – and that’s only for extremely large employers. The damages are capped at a much lower number for smaller employers. The VHRA has no maximum recovery – this means in theory that an employee who was discriminated against has no limit on an award from a judge or jury.
An employment lawyer can tell you where your lawsuit should be filed, the procedural steps that you need to take to protect yourself, and whether your case is one that should be pursued.
If you are searching for an experienced employment lawyer with proven results, please call us at (757) 432-2500 or use our online form below.
Employment lawyers in Virginia Beach serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and all of Hampton Roads.