Employment law in Virginia can be confusing for those who are new to the workforce or to the state. It is hard to tell the difference between rude employer practices and illegal employer practices. Understanding the basics of the employment law in Virginia will help you avoid problems in your place of employment.
The first step to joining the work force in the state of Virginia is getting a job. Completing an application for an open position usually does this. If the employer is interested you will then be asked to go through an interview process. . The interview will give the employer the chance to pick their favorite applicant and get a better idea of who is better suited to be hired for the open job.
During the interview the potential employer is allowed to ask you about certain things that will directly affect your job performance. Some of these questions might seem personal but are necessary such as whether or not you have been convicted of a crime and whether or not you are a United States citizen. Other questions that are personal and not acceptable are questions regarding your children, your martial status, parents, and any other personal information that will not have anything to do with your employment.
During or after the interview in Virginia you will be asked to provide references from individuals who can verify your work history. If you do not have a work history you might be asked to provide personal references that can verify your character. When you do give a reference that is a past employer employment law in Virginia is extremely strict regarding what can and cannot be asked.
In order to prevent past employers from ruining your chance for new employment there are very strict laws that threaten serious legal repercussions if any employer is found to have made defamatory statements about a past employee. To avoid issues most employers are encouraged to only give information regarding the date the employee was hired, the day they left, and what their wages were.
The average worker in Virginia is unaware that they working under any type of contract. Many companies in Virginia automatically operate under an "at will" contract. This contract allows the employee to leave at anytime and also allows the employer to terminate the employee at anytime. Companies are encouraged to provide their employees with handbooks specifying the employment contract along with other rules and regulations including termination practices.