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Employer HR Tips – February 2019

Breaks, Leave, Holidays & More: Pay Requirements for Virginia

Check out this month’s Employer HR Tips for advice on how to pay your employees.

  • Meals and Breaks: Employers are not required to pay nonexempt employees if they take a lunch break longer than 20 minutes. For a 30 minute lunch break, employees must be fully relieved of duties and will not be completing work during that time. Breaks, however, that are 20 minutes or less must be paid.
  • Sick Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only applies to companies with 50 or more employees. For companies with 49 or less, sick leave benefits are not required. If sick leave benefits are provided, coherent and consistent terms should be outlined in your employee handbook.
  • Holiday Leave: According to Employment Law Handbook, there are 11 holidays recognized by Virginia: New Years Day, Lee-Jackson Day, Martin Luther King Jr Day, George Washington Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. That being said, private employers such as small businesses are not required by law to provide paid or unpaid leave on these holidays. Business owners should create a coherent and consistent policy regarding holidays and holiday pay.
  • Severance Pay: Severance pay is the money paid to an employee when let go from the company. Under Virginia law, employees are not required to be provided severance pay. If an employer chooses to do so, the terms must be outlined in your employee handbook.