Virginia Law Update

Wage Payment

On April 3, 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation (H.B. 2664) requiring each employer to provide on each regular pay date a written statement, by a paystub or online accounting, that shows the employer’s name and address, the number of hours worked during the pay period, and the rate of pay. Currently an employer is required to provide, when requested, a written statement of the employee’s gross wages and any deductions. The law does not apply to agricultural employment except that an agricultural employer, upon request of its employee, must furnish the employee a written statement of the gross wages he or she earned during any pay period and the amount and purpose of any deductions therefrom.

The law is effective January 1, 2020.

Read VA S.B. 2664

Employment Records

On March 21, 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation (S.B. 1724) that requires employers to furnish a copy of certain employment records or papers (records) within 30 days of receipt of a written request of a current or former employee or employee’s attorney. The law also provides that an employer:

·         Must notify the requester of any reason for delay.

·         May charge a reasonable fee to comply with such a request.

Additionally, an employee or the employee’s attorney may file a subpoena duces tecum (subpoena to appear in court with the records) upon an employer’s failure to comply with a record request. Willful violations may be penalized by a damages award for all expenses incurred by the employee to obtain the copies, including a refund of fees if the payment was made for the copies, court costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

The law also provides an exception to providing the records when the employee’s treating physician or clinical psychologist places a written statement in the record stating that by furnishing it to the employee, or allowing the employee to review the record, then:

·         It would be reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the employee or another person; or

·         The records refer to a person, other than a health care provider, and the access requested would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to that referenced person.

If this exception applies, the records must be provided to the employee’s attorney or authorized insurer, rather than to the employee, within 30 days of the request.

The law is effective July 1, 2019.

Read VA S.B. 1724

Background Checks

On March 19, 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation (H.B. 2746) requiring the Virginia Department of State Police to accept requests for background checks through the use of a Live Scan device, certified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, by any agency or organization located within Virginia that both:

·         Is authorized to receive criminal history record information pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-392.02 (National criminal background checks by businesses and organizations regarding employees or volunteers providing care to children or the elderly or disabled); and

·         Utilizes a fingerprint background check as a condition of licensure, certification, employment, or volunteer service.

 

The agency or organization that requests the background check is responsible for all associated costs. The law provides additional terms and conditions for such background checks.

The law is effective July 1, 2019.

Read VA H.B. 2746