Beginning July 1, 2023, Virginia Law will include a new provision for employee leave for the purpose of organ or bone marrow donation. Pending Va. Code Section 40.1-33.8 allows for up to 60 days of unpaid business leave for employees for the purpose of organ donation and up to 30 days of unpaid leave for the purpose of bone marrow donation. However, not every employee will qualify. The new statute is structured similarly to the qualifying elements of FMLA leave. An eligible employee must have been employed for 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months. Also, qualifying employers only include those with 50 or more employees.
Like the FMLA, during qualifying periods of leave, the employer must consider the employee as continuously employed and must reinstate the employee to the same or equivalent position upon their timely return. Retaliation is specifically prohibited for exercising these rights, but the statute does not contain an express provision for an individual cause of action. As structured, violations can be asserted to the Commissioner or the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry within 1 year. VDOLI is then responsible for investigating the claim and if warranted, issuing a notice of any founded violation, which primarily would include civil penalties.