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Reforms Needed For Virginia State Leave System

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Amidst discussions of Virginia's economic health looms the specter of hundreds of millions owed to state employees for paid sick and vacation leave.
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Amidst discussions of Virginia's economic health looms the specter of hundreds of millions owed to state employees for paid sick and vacation leave.

Virginia state employees have accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars in unused leave, and policymakers say the potential unfunded liability is enormous. In addition to vacation and sick leave, there are now more than 20 time-off alternatives, including community service and family illness.

“Whether it was tenure-based, look at the different ways we provide leave. It’s credited, accrued, earned-the different categories. And some you can carry over, some you can’t, some have a leave year, some have a fiscal year, some have a rolling calendar year," says Human Resources Management Director Sara Wilson.

Wilson led a study of potential changes to make the system more simple and flexible. They include freezing old leave balances, capping paid time-off, and combining classifications into all-purpose leave that would be used or lost.

Lawmakers have not yet endorsed any plan, but agree there must be reforms.

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