Senate committee kills bill to give paid leave to quarantined workers in Virginia

The panel voted 14-1 to not pass the bill

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RICHMOND, Va. – A Virginia Senate committee killed legislation on Wednesday to require employers to provide up to two weeks paid sick leave for workers who need to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or infection, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted 14-1 to not pass the paid leave requirement during the General Assembly’s special session to address Virginia’s coronavirus public health emergency.

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) was the only one who voted against the motion to kill the bill.

House Bill 5116, proposed by Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William), would require businesses with more than 25 employees to give two weeks of paid leave to workers who have COVID-19 or need to take care of family members who contract it.

However, only employees who work at least 20 hours a week would be eligible and it would not apply to state employees unless there is federal emergency funding to pay for it.

Richmond Time-Dispatch reported that Guzman told the committee this is not an anti-business bill, while Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City) called the legislation “insensitive” to businesses under severe financial stress because of operation restrictions that Gov. Ralph Northam set on March 12.

“We have no business placing additional stress on our businesses at this period of time,” said Norment.


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