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Virginia Expands Definition of Religious Discrimination

Effective July 1, 2022, the definition of religion under the Virginia Human Rights Act is expanded to include any outward expression of religious faith, including:

  • Adherence to religious dress and grooming practices; and
  • Carrying or display of religious items or symbols.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should review and update their existing equal employment opportunity, non-harassment/non-discrimination and religious accommodation policies to include updated language regarding the term religion. In addition, employers should review and update their existing dress code and/or grooming policies to remove reference to any prohibition on items that may be related to the tenants of a particular religion.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.