Virginia Hiring laws & HR compliance analysis

Virginia Hiring: What you need to know

Private employers. The Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA) prohibits hiring practices that discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age (40 years or older), marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran (VA Code Sec. 2.2-3900 et seq.). Race discrimination includes discrimination based on “traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.”
Covered employers. Employers with 15 or more employees are covered. However, employers with more than 5 employees are covered for purposes of unlawful discharge of an employee based on race, color, religion, national origin, status as a veteran, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, or childbirth or related medical conditions (including lactation).
Public employers. Public employers are prohibited from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age (40 years or older), marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran. Employment decisions based on age or sex are permitted if age or sex is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) for employment. Public employers may provide a preference in employment to veterans.
An Executive Order (EO) issued by the governor prohibits employment discrimination in state government based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, political affiliation, disability, or veteran status (VA E.O. 2018-1).
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Disability. Effective July 1, 2021, the VHRA requires employers with five or more employees to provide a reasonable accommodation for the known physical and mental impairments of an otherwise qualified person with a disability if necessary to assist the person in performing a particular job unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer (VA Stat. Sec. 2.2-3905). The

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