VIRGINIA'S HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL BLOG
Nearly all laws that pass in the Virginia General Assembly’s Regular Session, convened annually in January for either 46 or 60 days, go into effect on the succeeding 1st of July. VRLTA wants to make sure that you are ready! Below you will find some of the most pressing of the new laws that will affect hotel and restaurant operations going forward. This list is by no means exhaustive, and if you are interested to see what other laws will be going into effect on July 1, I highly recommend reading the publication In Due Course, which is compiled by Virginia’s Division of Legislative Services annually for just that purpose.
Human Trafficking Training
Starting July 1, all hotel employees will need to complete a course in identifying and stopping human trafficking. The Department of Criminal Justice Services has completed work on a state-provided course which can be accessed at no cost by anyone, as well as an informative page for operators with answers to frequently-asked questions. They are also maintaining a list of approved courses, which includes many of the courses common to the larger brands, including the ECPAT course. Take a moment and ensure that your employees are in compliance, as the Virginia Department of Health will start enforcing this requirement as part of each hotel’s annual site inspection. If you have questions, contact Tommy at email@example.com.
Association Healthcare Plan
On July 1, associations like VRLTA and others will be able to offer their members and member companies access to an association-wide healthcare plan, which will open up a great opportunity for restaurant and hotel employees and employers for whom healthcare benefits had previously been out of reach. VRLTA is working on finalizing the details of the plan that we will offer to our members through United Healthcare, and we hope to have more detailed news on this for you ASAP.
Barrier Crimes for ABC Manager
We worked with Delegate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker of Fairfax to pass a bill which will make it easier for qualifying employees who are re-entering citizens be able to reach ABC manager status in Virginia restaurants.
Oyster Shell Tax Credit
This year a new, unique tax instrument will become available in the Commonwealth, designed to both help oyster production in the Bay, and reward seafood purveyors with a mind for conservation. These two bills work together to establish the Oyster Shell Waste Diversion Fund, and to make oyster shell donation for recycling an eligible activity to receive funds from the Virginia Oyster Replenishment Fund. This will help restaurant operators serving fresh oysters and will help support greater populations of Virginia oysters in the Bay.
Please take all of the appropriate steps to make sure that you and your businesses are in compliance and/or taking advantage of these new incoming laws. Of course, if you have questions or concerns about anything that you’re reading here, please do not hesitate to reach out to Tommy Herbert, Director of Government Affairs, at Tommy@VRLTA.org.