There is no Virginia law requiring private sector employers to provide employees sick leave, paid or unpaid, although many employers do grant it as an important employee benefit.
It is important to remember, however, that if sick leave is promised, an employer may create a legal obligation to grant it. Employers should regularly review statements made in handbooks or elsewhere to ensure that they accurately reflect current policies. If changes are necessary, the policy should be revised and employees notified of the changes.
Effective July 1, 2021, Virginia’s new paid sick leave law (formerly known as “Guzman’s Bill”) provides for certain home health workers to earn paid sick leave. Under the law, “home health worker” covers employees who provide personal care, respite, or companion services to an individual who receives consumer-directed services under the state plan for medical assistance services (Medicaid).
Paid sick leave under the law will begin to accrue at the commencement of an employee’s employment. Covered home health workers will then accrue at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours each year. Covered home health workers must work an average of 20 hours per week, or 90 hours per month.
An employer may provide all paid sick leave that an employee is expected to accrue in a year at the beginning of the year. Paid sick leave can be carried over to the next year, but employees cannot accrue or use more than 40 hours of paid sick leave in a year.
Any employer that has a preexisting paid leave policy, such as a paid-time-off policy, that provides an employee an amount of paid leave sufficient to meet the ...