Senate committee advances Virginia bill with new sick leave requirement for employers

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A Virginia Senate committee narrowly advanced legislation Monday that would require employers to let employees use sick leave to care for immediate family members who are sick.

Senate Bill 1159, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, narrowly advanced through the Commerce and Labor Committee by an 8-7 vote with opposition from some members who worried it would put additional mandates on businesses. The legislation was referred to the Finance and Appropriations Committee for consideration.

The legislation would apply to employers who employ 25 or more people, and the provision would be applicable for employees who work at least 30 hours a week. The number of days an employee could use sick leave to care for an immediate family member would be capped at five days per calendar year.

The bill also clarifies the mandate applies only to employers who already provide sick leave and does not mandate any employer provide additional sick leave. An employee only can use sick time he or she already has accrued.

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