RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia Senate committee voted down a bill on Wednesday that would have mandated paid quarantine leave for many workers in the state during the coronavirus pandemic, a measure that passed the House of Delegates last week.
The bill, introduced by Del. Elizabeth R. Guzman (D-Prince William), would have required businesses with more than 25 employees to give two weeks of paid leave to workers who contract COVID-19, or who need to take care of family members with the virus.
The measure also would make the paid leave available to employees immediately, despite the length of their tenure. In order to be eligible, the employee must work at least 20 hours a week.
On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted 14-1 to pass the bill by indefinitely, essentially killing the legislation until next year’s General Assembly session.
The House approved the legislation last Thursday in a vote largely along party lines, despite some concerns that the bill was “gutted” and left a significant portion of the workforce out. Those opposed to the bill said the unfunded mandate could hurt businesses struggling amid the pandemic.