Under NFIB/Virginia’s leadership, proposals to increase Virginia’s minimum wage beyond the federal minimum wage were killed for this year. While the State Senate passed the legislation to increase the minimum wage to $9.25 by July 1, 2015 on a 20-20 vote, with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam voting with the Senate Democratic caucus. The bill then passed to the House, where it died in committee. Citing employers’ difficulty in affording new workers because of the increased costs in labor, the House Commerce and Labor committee decided to allow the market to determine how much employees should be paid.
- Mandatory paid leave: With NFIB’s support, legislation was defeated that would have required employers to provided “safe days” or paid leave to an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
- Workers’ comp reform: NFIB supported legislation that would have addressed the increased costs of medical care in workers’ compensation cases. The legislation that passed included several common sense reforms, such as discounted rates for multiple procedures during one surgery, appropriate reimbursement rates to physician assistants so they aren’t reimbursed at the same amount as doctors, and a one-year statute of limitations so that claims cannot be brought forward years after the incident.
- Background checks: NFIB defeated efforts to prohibit private employers from including on any employment application a question inquiring whether the prospective employee has ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of any crime. The proposal also specified that a prospective employee could not be asked if he had ever been convicted of any crime unless the inquiry took place after the prospective employee received a conditional offer of employment.
- Death tax: Once again, NFIB/Virginia defeated efforts to re-instate the commonwealth’s estate tax.
- Right of appeal: NFIB supported legislation proposed by the General Assembly’s Business Development Caucus to permits a taxpayer to appeal to the State Tax Commissioner or request a written ruling from him with regard to the classification of the business for BPOL tax purposes, regardless of whether the locality has conducted an audit, issued an assessment, or taken any other action.