It is time for employers in Virginia to take steps to evaluate their employment records and payroll practices.

The Virginia General Assembly enacted an employment records disclosure law requiring employers to furnish current and former employees certain personnel documents upon request. That law took effect on July 1, 2019. 

The new law requires an employer to provide “all records or papers retained by the employer” reflecting: (1) the employee’s dates of employment; (ii) the employee’s wages or salary during the employment; (iii) the employee’s job description or title during the employment; and (iv) any injuries sustained during the course of employment with the employer. Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-413(B). Upon written request, employers have 30 days to comply or provide written notice of delay in responding. If the employer fails to comply, the employee is able to issue and enforce a subpoena, and willful noncompliance may result in the employer being ordered to pay fees associated with enforcement. 

The Virginia General Assembly also amended the Wage Payment Act to require employers to furnish paystubs to employees on each regular pay date. The pay stub requirement took effect on January 1, 2020. 

Prior to the amendment, the Virginia Wage Payment Act only required employers to provide paystubs upon the employee’s request, and the Act only required that the paystubs contain the employee’s gross wages and any deductions. Now, employers are required to provide each employee a paystub on “each regular pay date” without waiting for an employee’s request. The paystub must contain additional information, including: (1) the name and address of the employer; (2) the number of hours worked in the pay period; (3) the applicable rate of pay; (4) the gross wages earned during the pay period; (4) and the amount and purpose of any payroll deductions. Va. Code Ann. § 40.1-29(C). 

Recently, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry issued an announcement explaining that the amendment applies to all employees, even those who are not paid on an hourly basis, such as salaried and piece work employees. 

To comply with the new laws, employers should review and update their payroll practices and any employee handbooks or policies that relate to access to employment records or wage statements and timekeeping to ensure compliance.

Amber Orr is an Associate Attorney in the Employment and Business Litigation practice at Berenzweig Leonard. She can be reached at [email protected]