When you plan to hire Virginia employees, all of your employment documents must comply with federal and Virginia-specific employment laws—including your Virginia employee handbook.
Employers aren’t required to create and distribute employee handbooks, but they are required to implement and comply with a variety of policies in the workplace, and documenting those policies in a handbook is typically a good idea. An employee handbook acts as a resource for both employers and employees. It can introduce new employees to the company, explain your key policies and procedures, set expectations for employees, and mitigate your legal liability. However, if your Virginia employee handbook fails to comply with applicable state laws, you could leave your organization open to legal liability.
Researching and writing your own employee handbooks can be time-consuming and expensive, especially when you’re hiring in more than one state. Fortunately, SixFifty has created an Employment Docs platform to help businesses create their own customized, state-specific employee handbooks.
Here’s what you need to know about Virginia employee handbook requirements.
Required Virginia employee handbook policies
Virginia requires employers to implement and comply with nine state-specific policies:
- ADA Policy
- Crime Victim Leave Policy
- Election Officer Leave Policy
- Jury Duty Leave Policy
- Meal and Rest Breaks (minors only) Policy
- Organ and Bone Marrow Donation Policy (organizations with fifty or more employees)
- Pay Transparency Policy
- Social Security Number Policy
- Witness Duty and Court Attendance Leave Policy
Note that the meal and rest breaks policy only applies to minors, and that the Organ and Bone Marrow Donation Policy has an employee threshold. This means that employers who don’t employ minors or who don’t meet the threshold generally are not required to implement those policies.
Optional Virginia employee handbook policies
In addition to Virginia’s nine required employee handbook policies, employers may include the following optional policies:
- Affinity Group Policy
- Arbitration Policy
- At-Will Employment Policy
- Background Check Policy
- Business Expense Policy
- Company Property Policy
- Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
- Desk Hoteling Policy
- Direct Deposit Policy
- Dress Code Policy
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
- Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
- Employee Benefits Policy
- Employee Classification Policy
- Employee Dating Policy
- Employee References Policy
- Employment of Relatives Policy
- Exit Interview Policy
- Gifts Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- Immigration Law Compliance
- Lactation Accommodation Policy
- Leave Policies, including: Paid Sick Leave; Parental Leave; Bereavement Leave; Organ, Bone Marrow, and Blood Donor Leave; Domestic Violence Leave; Civil Service Leave; School Activity Leave
- Marijuana Policy
- Off-Duty Use of Facilities
- Outside Employment Policy
- Overtime Policy
- Payment of Wages Policy
- Payroll Deductions Policy
- Performance Review Policy
- Personnel Files Policy
- Pets in the Workplace Policy
- Progressive Discipline Policy
- Public Relations Policy
- Punctuality and Attendance Policy
- Salary Pay Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
- Technology Systems Policy
- Telecommuting Policy
- Temporary Relocation Policy
- Timekeeping Policy
- Vacation/Paid Time Off
- Video Conferencing Policy
- Workers’ Compensation Policy
- Workplace Violence Policy
- Workplace Visitor Policy
- Workweek and Work Schedules Policy
Depending on your industry, company and employment type, and related considerations, you may not need or want to include all of these policies.
Required federal employee handbook policies
Finally, if you choose to create an employee handbook, you must include these required federal employee handbook policies:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
- Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
- Jury Duty Leave
- Military Service Leave
- Sexual Harassment Policy
- Lactation Accommodation Policy
- Religious Accommodation Policy
Employers in all 50 states are required to implement these policies, in addition to any that are required by the specific state(s) in which they do business. All of your employee handbooks, Virginia or otherwise, should contain these policies, assuming you meet the 50-employee requirement for the FMLA Policy.
How to create a Virginia employee handbook
Creating your own Virginia employee handbook that complies with state requirements can be daunting, even if you only plan to include the required federal and state policies. It’s also risky. If you accidentally violate state or federal employment law, your organization could be held liable for any issues which arise.
There are a few different options to ensure your handbook is compliant and legally sound. You could hire an attorney to draft your handbook from scratch. This is a secure option—but if you’re hiring in more than one state, the billable hours can add up quickly.
Some companies use one-size-fits-all templates, but that’s generally not a good solution. There’s no guarantee that templates—or worse, copying from someone else’s handbook—will include all of the state-specific policies and language required to protect your employees and your business.
SixFifty knows this can be an expensive and lengthy process. That’s why we’ve created Employment Docs. Our platform supports employers through every stage of the employment life cycle, beginning with offer letters and employee handbooks and ending with termination and offboarding. We make it easy to generate top-tier employment documents, like Virginia employee handbooks, for a fraction of the time and cost needed for other methods. Best of all, our legal team watches for changes to employment law nationwide. If there are any updates, you’ll be notified so you can regenerate your handbooks as needed.
Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!