This essay attempts to resolve the current disconnect in the state judiciary‘s application of section 65.2-805(A) by analyzing the language of the statute as well as the various policy implications that undergird its establishment and accompany each interpretation. Part I provides a brief background of workers‘ compensation law generally, the Virginia Workers‘ Compensation Act (including section 65.2-805(A)), and the relevant case law involving section 65.2-805(A). Part II proceeds with the essay‘s argument, i.e., that section 65.2-805(A) should not be interpreted as imposing strict liability on non-compliant employers and thereby eliminating the obligation for a plaintiff-employee to plead a prima facie case of negligence. To the extent that this interpretation differs from the original intent of the General Assembly when it enacted section 65.2-805(A), or the current intent of the General Assembly for that matter, Part III invites the legislature to make an appropriate amendment through traditional means.
D. Paul Holdsworth, Analyzing the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act's Governance of Employer Non-Compliance, 51 U. Rich. L. Rev. 193 (2016).