Employees; earned sick leave, civil penalties. (SB481)

Introduced By

Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) with support from co-patrons Del. Karrie Delaney (D-Centreville), Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria), Sen. John Bell (D-Chantilly), Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke), and Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Moneta)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Earned paid sick time. Requires public and private employers with 15 or more employees to provide those employees with earned paid sick time; however, the provisions of the bill would not apply to an employer that has entered into a bona fide collective bargaining agreement. The measure provides for an employee to earn at least one hour of paid sick leave benefit for every 30 hours worked. An employee shall not use more than 40 hours of earned paid sick time in a year, unless the employer selects a higher limit. Employees shall not be entitled to use accrued earned paid sick time until the ninetieth calendar day following commencement of their employment, unless otherwise permitted by the employer. The bill provides that earned paid sick time may be used (i) for an employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; an employee's need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an employee's need for preventive medical care; (ii) to provide care to a family member under similar circumstances; (iii) when there is a closure of the employee's place of business or the employee's child's school or place of care due to a public health emergency; or (iv) when an employee's or employee's family member's presence in the community may jeopardize the health of others because of their exposure to a communicable disease. The bill prohibits employers from taking certain retaliatory actions against employees related to leave and authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, in the case of a knowing violation, to subject an employer to a civil penalty not to exceed $150 for the first violation, $300 for the second violation, and $500 for each successive violation, if the second or successive violation occurs within two years of the previous violation. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry may institute proceedings on behalf of an employee to enforce compliance with this measure and to collect specified amounts from the employer, which shall be awarded to the employee. Alternatively, an aggrieved employee is authorized to bring a civil action against the employer in which he may recover double the amount of any unpaid earned sick time and the amount of any actual damages suffered as the result of the employer's violation. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021, and incorporates SB 1069. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/07/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20104341D
01/07/2020Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/03/2020Reported from Commerce and Labor with substitute (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2020Incorporates SB1069 (Barker)
02/03/2020Committee substitute printed 20106951D-S1
02/03/2020Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations
02/06/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB481S1)
02/06/2020Reported from Finance and Appropriations with amendment (11-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (36-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2020Read second time
02/11/2020Reading of substitute waived
02/11/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20106951D-S1
02/11/2020Reading of amendment waived
02/11/2020Committee amendment agreed to
02/11/2020Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment SB481ES1
02/11/2020Printed as engrossed 20106951D-ES1
02/11/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2020Passed Senate (23-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2020Placed on Calendar
02/19/2020Read first time
02/19/2020Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce
02/20/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/20/2020Reported from Labor and Commerce with amendments (13-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2020Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/21/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB481ES1)
02/21/2020Reported from Appropriations with amendment (12-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2020Read second time
02/26/2020Read third time
02/26/2020Committee on Labor and Commerce amendments #'s 1-7 and #'s 10-13 agreed to
02/26/2020Committee on Labor and Commerce amendments # 8 and 9 rejected
02/26/2020Committee on Appropriations amendment agreed to
02/26/2020Amendments by Delegate Guzman agreed to
02/26/2020Impact statement from DHCD/CLG (SB481)
02/26/2020Pending question ordered
02/26/2020Engrossed by House as amended
02/26/2020Passed House with amendments (52-Y 48-N)
02/26/2020VOTE: Passage (52-Y 48-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2020House amendments rejected by Senate (0-Y 40-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2020House insisted on amendments
02/26/2020House requested conference committee
02/26/2020Senate acceded to request (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/27/2020Delegates: Simon, Krizek, Campbell. R.R.
02/27/2020Conferees appointed by Senate
02/27/2020Senators: Favola, Bell, Stuart
02/27/2020Conferees appointed by House
02/27/2020Delegates: Simon, Krizek, Campbell, R.R.
03/03/2020C Amended by conference committee
03/03/2020Conference substitute printed 20109431D-S2
03/04/2020Passed by temporarily
03/04/2020Passed by for the day
03/05/2020Conference report agreed to by House (52-Y 45_N)
03/05/2020Conference report agreed to by House (52-Y 45-N)
03/05/2020VOTE: Adoption (52-Y 45-N) (see vote tally)
03/08/2020Passed by temporarily
03/10/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB481S2)
03/12/2020No further action taken
03/12/2020Failed to pass in Senate


Dianne Rencsok writes:

SB 481 should be approved. All the recent furor over the coronavirus understates how important it could be for a sick employee to not come to work and infect co-workers and customers. For many, their economic status can be challenged by a single day without pay.