Client Alert for Virginia Employers

March 26, 2013

The Virginia legislature has passed two measures of interest to the Commonwealth's employers regarding Secret Ballot Elections and Reference Checks.

SECRET BALLOT ELECTIONS

A new law guaranteeing employees the right to vote by secret ballot to choose a labor representative has been enacted in the Commonwealth. House Bill 1385 gives employees the right to vote by secret ballot as a fundamental right, guaranteed from infringement, for representation concerning employee grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment or conditions of work. This law serves as a counter to the efforts of organized labor to implement unions through the expedited "card-check" process. The law is effective July 1, 2013.

REFERENCE CHECKS

With the passage of House Bill 1931, employers will be prohibited from releasing certain personal information about current and former employees. The law prohibits an employer from releasing, communicating, or distributing to a third party such personal identifying information on current and former employees as a home telephone number, mobile telephone number, E-mail address, shift times, or work schedules. The measure is intended to protect individuals' privacy and protect them from harassment and other unwanted communications. However, the law does not apply where such information is (1) required under federal law that would preempt state law; (2) ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction; (3) required pursuant to a warrant issued by a judicial officer; or (4) required by a subpoena issued in a pending civil or criminal case or by discovery in a civil case. This law is also takes effect July 1, 2013.

Contact SESCO should you have any questions.