Article Summary

"Changing Currents in Employment Law" is the D.C. Bar's annual three-hour event featuring legal updates and practice tips from the area's top employment attorneys — all for CLE credit. TELG's Scott Oswald serves as faculty chair and will moderate the event on October 26, 2021. Here he previews the panel on wage and hour claims in Virginia with panelist Jim Coleman of Costangy Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP.

This video interview by TELG managing principal R. Scott Oswald was published by The Employment Law Group, P.C. on August 12, 2021.

Changing Currents 2021 – Panel Preview: Wage-and-Hour Claims



» “Changing Currents in Employment Law” will take place on October 26, 2021. Click here for more details and registration options.


(Transcribed and edited lightly by The Employment Law Group)

R. Scott Oswald: Welcome, everyone, to our preview of this year’s “Changing Currents in Employment Law,” the D.C. Bar’s CLE on October 26 this fall. I’m Scott Oswald. I am faculty chair of “Changing Currents in Employment Law,” and today for our preview, we have with us Jim Coleman. He is a partner at Costangy Brooks, Smith and Prophete, and he is going to be moderating a panel: “About Time: Virginia Raises the Stakes Dramatically on Wage-and-Hour Claims.”

Hi, Jim.

Jim Coleman: Hi, Scott. How are you?

Oswald: I’m doing well. Tell us a little about your panel and your co-panelist.

Coleman: This is going to be a panel with a perspective from the defense bar, [which] will be me, and from the plaintiff’s bar, [which] will be Mark Hanna. The two of us will cover all the new wage and hour laws that have arisen in the last 18 months or so in Virginia and try to give everybody the perspective from both sides.

Oswald: So, I’ve heard and read that the new wage and hour laws are revolutionary for Virginia, and you know, sometimes when I read something like that, I think it’s an exaggeration, Jim, but for Virginia, it actually might hit the mark, right?

Coleman: I would agree completely. That is not an overstatement. Up until recently, Virginia generally
has not been a state that was very active in putting out employee-favorable legislation really anywhere in the employment arena — whether it be discrimination, wage and hour, whatever — and starting about a year and a half ago, things changed very dramatically in Richmond, and there’s a whole new host of employment laws now on the books.

Oswald: So if I attend “Changing Currents” this fall, and I’m listening to your panel, what are maybe one or two things that I’m going to take away from it?

Coleman: What I would like to do is focus a bit on the overtime law because previously there was no overtime requirement under Virginia law. Employers simply had to deal with the requirements of federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act. Now, employers in Virginia need to be concerned with both the Fair Labor Standards Act and Virginia law, and make no mistake, there are differences in Virginia law. There are less exemptions from overtime under the Virginia law than under the federal law. There are greater remedies, and there are procedural advantages — all that favor employees.

Oswald: So, what kind of advice are you giving your employer clients right now who are operating in Virginia, Jim?

Coleman: It’s a good question. What I’m trying to do is highlight the differences, what they can no longer
do in Virginia. I have a lot of clients that are multi-state, and so you know, they have a tough job of trying to comply with [all the different laws]. There’s no federal preemption in the wage and hour area at all. So, they’ve got to always stay on their toes with regard to state law requirements. I’m trying to make sure they understand the differences, how Virginia law is more narrow in terms of exemptions, and then a little bit of a lesson on why they don’t want to be a defendant in a Virginia state court in a wage and hour lawsuit.

Oswald: Jim, thank you. And we look forward to seeing each of you at this year’s “Changing Currents in
Employment Law” on Tuesday, October 26th at 6:00 pm. We look forward to seeing you then.

Coleman: Thank you. I’m looking forward to it.


R. Scott Oswald is managing principal of The Employment Law Group, P.C. Jim Coleman is a partner at Costangy Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP.


» “Changing Currents in Employment Law” will take place on October 26, 2021. Click here for more details and registration options.