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No easy solutions for illicit tobacco trade

Illegal cigarette smuggling in the U.S. costs the public coffers at least $2.95 billion annually in lost state tax revenue, yet the problem does not garner much public concern.

Local Business News

Notable Gifts for May 24: Virginia Environmental Endowment gives more than $240,000

The Virginia Environmental Endowment has awarded more than $240,000 to a total of 11 organizations working to protect and improve natural resources and the environment.

Consumer Reports: Which frequent-flyer program is best for you?

About 100 million consumers belong to one or more airline frequent-flier programs. If you’re one of them, you know how many hoops you need to jump through to get where you want to go.

Biz Bites: Quirk Hotel coming; TowneBank making moves

Ted and Katie Ukrop and their team are working feverishly to get Quirk Hotel open by Sept. 1.

HDL's Tonya Mallory says she is prepared for defense if Feds pursue case

While Health Diagnostic Laboratory has settled with the federal government, it remains unclear what, if any, action might be taken against Tonya Mallory, the company’s co-founder and its former chief executive officer.

Four whistleblowers prompted HDL investigation

A nurse, an owner of a medical billing firm , a doctor — all in South Carolina — and an executive with a laboratory company in California came forward with allegations that prompted a federal investigation of Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc.

More praise for Suzanne Hall

Suzanne Hall is the retiring chief communications officer for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award for Excellence in Public Relations from the Richmond Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Kenneth Harney: The murky world of broker commissions

It’s one of the dark corners of American real estate that doesn’t get much attention from consumers: When realty agents representing potential buyers don’t like the commission split offered on a listing, they might boycott it — simply not show the house to clients. The net result: Houses get less exposure and sit on the market longer than they would otherwise. The seller may end up with a lower price.

Virginia business briefs for May 23

New Owens & Minor CEO to have $900,000 salary

Sales strategies: Four steps to sales success

The business-to-business sales process increasingly looks more like the business-to-consumer system.

Are references a power tool or a check of a box?

You can learn about hard skills from applications and interviews. Soft skills -- or a lack of them -- often show up in reference checks. 

Ask Doug & Polly: How will I know when I can retire?

Small-business owners usually don't have pensions or 401(k) plans. So how do they know when they've saved enough to retire?

More Learning Center
Getting to know: Nate Marcus with PartyRVA

He's the founder of a successful party business.

Amy Messer

She's the controller at Comfort Zone Camp.

Bryan McKernon

He's president and chief executive officer of C&F Mortgage Corp.

Decision Maker: Christian Munson

The senior director at PadillaCRT is responsible for growing the company's business. 

More You Need To Meet


People who think of retreating before a battle has been fought ought to have stayed home.

-- Michel Ney, Duc d'Elchingen, French marshal

Appeals Court establishes new, more-lenient standard for hostile work environment claims

A former waitress’s hostile work environment and retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act against the employer should go to a jury, the Richmond-based federal appellate court has ruled earlier this month in the case of Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., No. 13-1473 (4th Cir. May 7, 2015) (en banc). The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, in a vote of 12 to 3 overruled previous rulings and held that a single comment or incident can be severe enough to trigger a hostile work environment lawsuit under federal law. This ruling signals a material shift in the way courts analyze employment discrimination claims and will likely make it more difficult for employers to defend against these types of lawsuits.

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  • Firms that shine: Area employees state their cases for why their companies are the best. Featuring the Richmond SHRM Sterling Workplace awards.
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