Virginia Leave Laws




Vacation Leave

In Virginia, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. VA Dept. of Labor: Wage Payment FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. VA Dept. of Labor: Wage Payment FAQs.

An employer must pay an employee for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if its policy or contract provides for such payment. VA Dept. of Labor: Wage Payment FAQs.



Neither Virginia’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks notice being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • cap the vacation leave an employee may accrued over time,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Although Virginia’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Virginia has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing. VA Dept. of Labor: Wage Payment FAQs. An employer is required to comply with the terms of the policy it chooses to implement. VA Dept. of Labor: Wage Payment FAQs.



Sick Leave

Virginia law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. VA Dept. of Labor: Wage Payment FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Virginia may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.



Holiday Leave

Virginia law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. VA Dept. of Labor: Wage Payment FAQs In Virginia, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

State holidays

Visit our Virginia State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Virginia as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.



Jury Duty Leave

An employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury.

An employer may not discharge or take any other adverse action against an employee for receiving and/or responding to a jury summons or for serving on a jury if the employee has given reasonable notice of the summons or jury service.

An employer may not require an employee to take vacation or sick leave when responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury if the employee has given reasonable notice of the summons or jury service.

An employer may not require an employee who is summoned and appears for jury duty for four (4) or more hours in one day, including travel time, to start any work shift that begins on or after 5:00 p.m. on the day of his appearance for jury duty or begins before 3:00 a.m. on the day following the day of his appearance for jury duty.

Virginia Stat. 18.2-465.1



Voting Leave

Virginia does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, paid or unpaid, to vote.

Virginia law requires an employer to provide an employee time off to serve as an election officer if the employee has given reasonable notice of the need for leave. The leave does not need to be paid, however, an employer may not require an employee that takes time off to serve as an election official to use vacation or sick leave. If an employee serves as an election officer for four (4) or more hours, including travel time, on a given day, he or she may not be required to start a shift that begins on or after 5:00 p.m. on the day of service as an election official or after 3:00 a.m. on the day following the day of service.

An employer that fails to permit an employee to take time off to serve as an election officer commits a Class 3 misdemeanor. Virginia Stat. 24.2-118.1



Bereavement Leave

Virginia law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employer may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.