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General Labor & Employment Law

Drug Testing in the Workplace

  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce supports the right of every employee to work in an environment that is safe and free from the illegal use, possession, distribution or manufacture of controlled substances. Therefore, the Chamber supports employer adoption and implementation of drug-free workplace policies and opposes efforts that limit an employer's ability to ensure a drug-free workplace.


Employment-at-Will

  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber strongly supports Virginia's employment-at-will doctrine and opposes efforts to weaken it.
  • The Chamber opposes wrongful discharge claims that seek to impose common law remedies on employers in lieu of or in addition to existing statutory remedies.


Employment Practices

  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber encourages all employers to establish policies, procedures and practices that ensure appropriate treatment of all employees. These include nondiscriminatory employment practices, strong employee orientation programs, promotional opportunities through human resource planning and development, and progressive and consistent approaches to disciplinary action.


Immigration
The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber supports:

  • An adequate, stable and legal workforce for Virginia employers.
  • A federal system that allows employers, workers and government agencies to efficiently and effectively comply with federal immigration law
  • Policies that protect employers from penalties when acting in good faith to comply with federal immigration law
  • Efforts at the federal level to establish a clear, sensible immigration system that secures our borders and is effectively enforced by federal authorities


Labor Law

  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber supports the rights of employers to manage their employees. The Chamber opposes expanded government regulation of the workplace including legislation that would limit an employer's right to operate during a strike.
  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce believes that the Employee Free Choice Act (card check bill) will take away the right to a fair union election free of coercion, which could include threats of termination, deportation and the loss of 401(k) and health benefits for the employee not signing a card.
  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce agrees with the United States Chamber and vigorously opposes the Employee Free Choice Act (card check bill) legislation, or any other efforts to overturn the established National Labor Relations Act procedures that guarantee a fair and uncoerced election through secret ballot voting.  
  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber supports Virginia's "right-to-work" law and opposes efforts to repeal or modify it.


Occupational Safety & Health

  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber supports voluntary efforts, with emphasis on education and training, to reduce workplace accidents and illnesses and opposes mandated workplace safety programs. Such programs tend to impair employer-employee cooperation, impose unnecessary costs on employers, increase litigation and impede desired results.


Public Employees

  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber opposes collective bargaining for public employees either through public employee unions or by other means. Specifically, the Chamber opposes "meet and confer" or "meet and discuss" legislation or any legislation that permits direct, formal public employer/employee negotiations.


Unemployment Compensation

  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber supports the existing framework of Virginia's unemployment compensation law, the primary purpose of which is to provide adequate and temporary financial assistance to employees who become unemployed through no fault of their own. The Chamber opposes efforts to extend benefits to workers who through their own actions or inactions become unemployed as a result of an employer initiated lockout or an employee strike.


Wage and Benefit Mandates

  • The Chamber is opposes any additional government mandates that require the payment of a set wage, often with benefits, as a condition for obtaining contracts with that government. The Chamber prefers a market-based approach for setting compensation for employment.
  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber encourages its membership to continually review and enhance their family-work life policies and programs to remain competitive, reducing government intervention and efforts to mandate benefits and employment policies.


Workers’ Compensation

  • The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber opposes any changes to Virginia's workers' compensation law that will undermine its basic concept and sound balance. Objectionable changes include: redefinition of a work-related injury, alteration of the exclusive remedy provisions of the law, broadened coverage to encompass conditions not clearly arising out of and in the course of employment, elimination of the employer's right to determine the size and composition of the panel from which an employee selects a treating physician, mandated health care coverage during a compensable disability, and provision of death benefits to persons other than statutory dependents.
Melicca Dunn