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Virginia Paid Sick Leave for Home Health Workers

April 13, 2021 Alert

Virginia signed a new law requiring paid sick leave for home health workers. The measure states all employers that employ a home health worker must provide their employees with paid sick leave, effective on July 1, 2021.

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At-a-Glance

  • Effective July 1, 2021, Virginia employers are required to provide eligible Home Health Workers with paid sick leave. 
  • Employees must receive at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
  • Employees may accrue and use up to 40 hours of paid sick leave for eligible reasons per 12-month benefit period.

Introduction 

On March 31, 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law House Bill 2137, requiring paid sick leave (PSL) for home health workers. The law requires all employers that employ a home health worker to provide their employees with paid sick leave.  HB 2137 becomes effective on July 1, 2021. 

Eligibility 

HB 2137 requires all employers that employ a home health worker to provide such employees with paid sick leave.  A home health worker is defined as an individual who provides personal care, respite, or companion services to an individual who receives consumer-directed services under the state plan for medical assistance services.   

A home health worker must work an average of at least 20 hours per week or 90 hours per month to be eligible for PSL.  The law provides that paid sick leave is not available to an individual who;  

  • Is licensed, registered, or certified as a health regulatory board within the Department of Health Professions (doctors, dentists, nurses, etc.); 
  • Is employed by a hospital licensed by the Department of Health; or 
  • Works, on average, no more than 30 hours per month

Accrual 

Paid Sick Leave begins to accrue when employment commences.  Employees may accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  Any unused and accrued paid sick leave must be carried over into the new 12-month benefit period. The law limits employees from accruing and using more than 40 hours of PSL within a 12-month benefit period. 

Acceptable Use 

Eligible home health workers may use leave for themselves or to care for or assist a family member, which includes a child, grandchild, grandparent, parent, sibling, or spouse, as well as any individual for whom a worker is responsible to provide or arrange care, and any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with an employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. 

The law allows home health workers to use no more than 40 hours of paid sick leave in one year for the following reasons:  

  • Mental or physical illness, injury or health condition of an employee or family member; 
  • Need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of an employee or family member; or
  • Preventive medical care for an employee or family member

More Generous Paid Time Off 

Any employer with a paid leave policy, such as a paid time off policy, that provides an employee an amount of paid leave sufficient to meet the requirements of this section and that may be used for the same purposes and under the same conditions as paid sick leave under this article shall not be required to provide additional paid sick leave to any employee that is eligible for paid leave under the policy. 

Notice Requirements 

Employers must provide paid sick leave at the request of an employee. Requests can be made orally, in writing, electronically, or in accordance with another established policy of the employer. In this notice, employees should provide the expected duration of the absence when possible; and if the sick leave is foreseeable, the employee should make a good faith effort to provide notice to their employer and schedule leave to avoid disrupting the employer’s operations. 

Em­ployers requiring notice of the use of paid sick leave must have a written policy that includes notice procedures. Employers cannot require an employee to find a replacement to cover work hours, nor can they require employees to work alternate shifts to make up hours. Employers can require reasonable documentation from employees who use paid sick leave for at least three consecutive workdays to support the purpose of the leave. 

Next Steps 

Paylocity will have the accrual requirements set up with our system prior to July 1, 2021. Please work with your account manager if you have questions about how to add a time off type or approve time off. 

Thank you for choosing Paylocity as your Payroll Tax and HCM partner.

This information is provided as a courtesy, may change, and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor. 

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