View our “Deep Dive” below to see recent and upcoming legislative changes to this state’s family and medical leave program(s).
Last Updated: 04/19/2023
Deep Dive – State Leave and Pay Programs
Virginia at a Glance
Virginia does not have a traditional paid or unpaid state family and medical leave law (e.g. covering such as medical leaves/pregnancy disability, family care leave, parental leaves, military exigency, and military caregiver leaves).
However, the state enacted a law in 2021, Senate Bill 576, which states that if an employee is disabled due to pregnancy, that insurers should allow up to 12 weeks of STD benefits for this reason. The waiting period can’t count towards the 12 weeks. The 12 weeks of benefits are not an automatic entitlement and the approval of STD still requires sufficient medical evidence. This law applies to insured policies (it does not apply to self-insured STD plans).
Additionally, the state enacted House Bill 1156 in 2022, which simply establishes family leave insurance as a class of insurance. This, in turn, allows employers to include PFL reasons (i.e. bonding, family care leave, military exigency) within their insured STD plan within Virginia (Arkansas also has a similar law – see here). We understand that this legislation is intended to give employers the option and to encourage employers to provide PFL benefits to employees, without the need for the state legislature to enact a formal state provided PFL program. This law applies to insured STD plans and not self-insured plans. If you wish to add PFL to your insured STD plan, please discuss this with your STD carrier. If you do move forward to include PFL in your STD plan, please update your Larkin Account Manager so we can inform your employees on PFL to apply for STD.
The Larkin Company generally recommends that if you do wish to provide PFL benefits to employees that you do so by developing a salary continuation/top-up program instead of providing PFL via your STD program. There are typically less stringent paperwork requirements for employees under salary continuation/top-up programs, compared with STD PFL plans. Further, if you have an insured STD plan, including PFL in your insured STD plan may result in increased insurance premiums due to increased employee claims.
Note: If you have a self-insured plan, there is nothing to prevent employers from adding PFL reasons into your STD plan. However, The Larkin Company, again, recommends providing salary continuation/top-up program for PFL reasons, so employees do not have additional paperwork on top of paperwork they may have to already provide under FMLA/company leave policy. If you have questions, please reach out to your Larkin Account Manager.
If you would like a reminder on the services that Larkin provides in general, please see here.
N/A – see the above “At a Glance” section.
Employer Statements Process (State Income Replacement Benefits)
State Resource Links
State Law and Regulation(s)
Virginia Senate Bill 576
Virginia House Bill 1156 (STD Rider Law)
The Larkin Company has taken reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind as to its accuracy or completeness. These resources should not be construed or substituted for legal advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information provided herein, we encourage you to seek competent legal advice from a licensed attorney or appropriate professionals.