West Virginia Sick Leave Law

Eligible Employees

Under the West Virginia Sick Leave Law, an employee may request sick leave if they are:

  • mentally or physically ill;
  • incapacitated;
  • exposed to a contagious illness that requires an isolation period; and,
  • taking care of a family member with serious health conditions.

All West Virginians enjoy the health insurance coverage of the West Virginia Family and Medical Leave Act.

Employees legally and formally employed by a qualified employer are granted sick leave from the day of employment.

The employed personnel must have worked for the qualified employer for 12 months or at least 1,250 hours within seven years. It does not require concurrent employment. Part-time employees are also covered as long as they fulfill a workload of 5 hours per week for the required duration.  

Special Cases

Airline Employees may be subject to eligibility terms. You must fulfill a 504-hour work time and at least pay 60% of your monthly guarantee. 

Spouses who work for the same employer are granted a limited 12 combined working weeks for the following reasons:

  • birth of an employee’s child
  • adoption of an employee’s child
  • taking care of a parent with a chronic health condition

The limit does not apply to these conditions:

  • employee’s own health condition
  • taking care of a spouse, son, or daughter with a chronic health condition
  • Qualified distress comes from a chronic health condition of a spouse, son or daughter, or parent who is in active military service. 

Military Leave

Military leave is given to those who rendered military service and has a chronic health condition caused by a previous deployment. A 26-week leave in 12 months is provided to service members or employees with a family member who had military service.

Covered Employers

The West Virginia Sick Leave Law mandates that all employers must provide an employee job-secure sick leave. It is a requirement under the Family Medical Leave Act. An employer qualifies for the FMLA if they have at least 50 employees and are within a 75-mile radius of the same vicinity.

The Family Medical Leave Act covers the following:

  • Private Sector or active employee
  • Public Agency or government employees
  • Federal Government or federal employees
  • Schools or education employees

Other employers that may be covered:

  • Integrated Employers
  • Joint Employers
  • Successor Employers

Serious Health Conditions

Employees may use FMLA terms if they or a family member suffers from serious health conditions. Note that minor illnesses do not fall under FMLA, such as minor flu, colds, etc. 

Furthermore, the employer may require a medical diagnosis to be presented and screened. 

List of frequent causes of sick leave:

  • Medical reasons that involve a stay of more than five days in a hospital
  • Chronic conditions that require multiple clinical visits of the employee of an immediate family
  • Incapacitation or handicap of the employee or immediate family
  • Pregnancy or childcare
  • Exposure to infectious illness that may need an isolation period

Immediate Family Defined

The term immediate family refers to any of the following:

  • mother and father
  • child or children
  • siblings
  • husband and wife or domestic partner
  • mother-in-law and father-in-law
  • son-in-law or daughter-in-law
  • stepchildren or Step parents 
  • adoptive child and foster parents
  • legal ward or loco parentis
  • people that are considered family and that are proven to live under the same roof

An employer may or may not require the employee to present adequate proof of relationship with their immediate family. A statement, court order, or birth certificate should be adequate.

If an employee asks for sick leave for a child over 18 years of age. They must prove that the child is incapable of caring for themselves. The disability must be defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ACT).

An employee preparing for adoption, undergoing counseling, appearing in court, submitting to physical examination, and traveling to another country for adoption may request FMLA leave.

Sick-leave Requirements

The employee must provide the employer with proper and advance notice as soon as possible. A 30-day notice is expected for surgery or pregnancy. You must notify your employer as soon as you are informed of the injury or condition of unexpected circumstances. The employee is not obliged to disclose full information regarding the health issue.

Unsupported Sick Leave

Unsupported sick leave refers to used sick leave credits that cannot be supported by written proof from a licensed physician.  It happens when the employee does not or could not seek care from a medical practitioner.

Under these circumstances, the leave shall be monitored for the entire period, for it may fall under sick leave abuse and review. Nevertheless, no action against employees should be taken by the institution even if they fall under an unsupported sick leave.

If the employee fails to secure a medical certification, the employee or employee’s family must write a letter to the management.

Employers can determine sick leave abuse. Sick leave hours must not be equal to or more than 5% of the total work hours in a set time, mostly within six months.

An employee cannot be granted sick time for more than five working days unless proven by a medical diagnosis given by an attending physician.

Medical Certification

If an employer requires medical certification, an employee should be given 15 days to process such documents. The employee shoulders the costs of medical certification. Failure to accomplish this may result in a request denial.

Eligibility requirements that may help the condition approval of your health insurance coverage:

  • Contact information of the healthcare provider
  • The date of the first manifestation of a health condition
  • Information about the health condition (may include hospital, attending physician, symptoms, and treatment referrals)
  • Proof of inability to work or the need to care for a family member with chronic health concerns
  • The frequency of leaves you need to take

If the employer sees the request requirements as inadequate, it may ask the employee for additional information about the health concern.

West Virginia Sick Leave Law Complaint

Suppose an employee’s rights have been violated even if sick-leave requirements have been met. West Virginians may file a complaint at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The WHD has over 200 offices around the country to assist employers and employees.

This information might be helpful when filing a complaint:

  • Name of the complainant
  • Address and contact details
  • Name of company
  • Location of company
  • Contact details of the company
  • Manager’s or your employer’s name
  • Facts regarding your complaint

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We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.