DHRM - Department of Human Resource Management


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Bill Number  Topic   
 House Bills  
 HB1555 Agency directors; human resources training and succession planning. Directs the Department of Human Resource Management to administer training programs to familiarize agency directors with state human resource policies, such as compensation management, benefits administration, and resources available at the Department. The bill requires agency directors to attend a training program within six months after appointment and thereafter at least once every four years. The bill requires agencies to develop and submit annually to the Department an agency succession plan for key personnel, executive positions,and employees nearing retirement.  

 
 HB1645 State Sickness and Disability Program
Eliminates the one-year waiting period for eligibility for disability benefits for vested local government employees commencing employment in a state position covered under the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), State Police Officers' Retirement System, Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System, or the hybrid retirement program. Under current law, employees who enter state service on or after July 1, 2009, are required to wait one year before they can receive benefits under the state sickness and disability program for nonwork related disabilities. The bill eliminates this waiting period for local government employees who have at least five years of creditable service under VRS (including the hybrid retirement program) or the Law Enforcement Officers' Retirement System (LEORS) upon commencing employment in a state position with no break in service. In addition, for purposes of determining the disability benefit payable, the bill provides that any such employee upon entering state service will be deemed to have a beginning balance of months of state service equal to the number of months of VRS or LEORS creditable service credited to him as of his beginning employment date
 
 HB1755 Step therapy protocols; disclosures
Requires health insurers that limit coverage for prescription drugs through the use of a step therapy protocol to have in place a process for a prescribing provider to request an override of the protocol for a patient. A step therapy protocol is a protocol or program that establishes the specific sequence in which prescription drugs for a specified medical condition are medically appropriate for a particular patient and are covered by a health benefit plan or that conditions coverage of a prescription medication on a patient first trying an alternative medication without success. The measure requires the granting of a step therapy protocol override in certain circumstances. Finally, the measure requires an insurer that offers a health benefit plan that uses a step therapy protocol to provide (i) written notice of a determination that the protocol requires denial of coverage of a provider's selected prescription drug, (ii) an explanation of the basis for such determination, and (iii) notice of the procedures for submitting a request for an override of the restrictions of the step therapy protocol


 HB1872 State employee health insurance plan; coverage for vision therapy.
Requires the state employee health insurance plan to include coverage for vision therapy, defined in the bill as orthoptic or pleoptic training when medically necessary to diagnose, correct, or manage a vision disorder or dysfunction that results from traumatic brain injury, brain surgery, or stroke
 
 HB2057 Prohibited discrimination in employment
Prohibits discrimination in private or public employment based on sexual orientation or status as a veteran. The bill provides that under the Virginia Human Rights Act, such discrimination is actionable if the violating employer has more than five but less than 15 employees. The bill defines "sexual orientation" as a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity or expression. The bill expressly provides that "sexual orientation" does not include any person's attraction toward persons with whom sexual conduct would be illegal due to the age of the parties. The bill also conforms various provisions prohibiting discrimination in public employment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or veteran status. The bill contains technical amendments
 
 HB2126 Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
Entitles individuals to a family and medical leave insurance (FMLI) benefit payment for each month they are engaged in qualified caregiving, not to exceed 60 qualified caregiving days per year. Qualified caregiving means an activity, except regular employment, for a reason an individual is entitled to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Benefits would amount to 66 percent of an individual's monthly wages, based on highest annual earnings from the prior three years, up to a capped monthly amount, and would be indexed to the national average wage index. If a person takes the maximum number of days, the benefits would range from a minimum benefit of $580 to a maximum benefit of $4,000 per month in the program's first year. To be eligible for benefits, an individual is required to (i) be insured for disability insurance benefits under the Social Security Act at the time his application is filed; (ii) have earned income from employment during the 12 months before filing the application; (iii) have filed an application for a FMLI benefit; and (iv) have been engaged in qualified caregiving, or anticipate being so engaged, during the 90-day period before the application is filed or within 30 days thereafter. The measure establishes the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Fund and requires FMLI benefit payments to be made only from this Fund. A tax of 0.2 percent is imposed on the wages received by every individual, and an excise tax of 0.2 percent of the wages paid in any calendar year by the employer with respect to their employment is imposed on employers. The measure has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2018.
 
 HB2129 Virginia Human Rights Act; public employment, public accommodation, and housing; prohibited discrimination; sexual orientation 
Prohibits discrimination in employment and public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation. The bill defines "sexual orientation" as a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity or expression. The bill expressly provides that "sexual orientation" does not include any person's attraction toward persons with whom sexual conduct would be illegal due to the age of the parties. The bill also codifies existing prohibited discrimination in public employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran. The bill also adds discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity as an unlawful discriminatory housing practice. The bill contains technical amendments. 
 
 HB2295 Virginia Human Rights Act; pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; causes of action. Provides that no employer may discharge any employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including lactation. Currently, the protection against discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions applies to an employer employing more than five but fewer than 15 persons  
 HB2314 Virginia Personnel Act; equal pay for equal work; policy of the Commonwealth. Provides that it is the policy of the Commonwealth that there shall be no discrimination between state employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to state employees at a rate less than the rate at which it pays wages to state employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs, the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system, (ii) a merit system, (iii) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex. The bill also requires the Department of Human Resource Management to establish and administer a program to ensure equal pay for equal work to state employees in all incidents of employment as provided in the Virginia Personnel Act. The bill contains technical amendments.   
 HB2391 Department of Human Resources Management; criminal background checks; state agency positions designated as sensitive; agencies to report to the Department. Requires each state agency to continue to record in the Personnel Management Information System (PMIS) positions that it has designated as sensitive to ensure that the Department of Human Resources Management has a list of all such positions. The bill clarifies who would be subject to a criminal background investigation in a sensitive position. The bill expands the definition of sensitive position to include those positions (i) responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of citizens or the protection of critical infrastructures; (ii) that have access to sensitive information, including access to Federal Tax Information in approved exchange agreements with the Internal Revenue Service or Social Security Administration; and (iii) that are otherwise required by state or federal law to be designated as sensitive. The bill contains an emergency clause  
 HB2402 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; willful violations; grounds for termination. Provides that if the court finds that any officer or employee of a public body (i) receives a request for records that was sent by a requester by certified mail, return receipt requested, and (ii) without legal excuse or justification, deliberately, willfully, and knowingly fails to make a response to such request, such officer or employee may be terminated for cause by his appointing authority or agency head.  
 Senate Bills

 
 SB783 Nondiscrimination in public employment. Prohibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as defined in the bill. The bill also codifies for state and local government employment the current prohibitions on discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a special disabled veteran or other veteran.

 
 SB0881 Virginia Retirement System (VRS); receipt of retirement allowance while employed in a covered position. Permits a person who has attained the age of 62 to receive a retirement allowance from VRS and be employed in a VRS covered position. The years of service and the compensation earned during such employment do not affect the amount of the retirement allowance during or after such employment.   
 SB952 False statements to members of the General Assembly; state employees and appointees. Provides that any state employee or person serving in an appointed position who knowingly and willfully makes any materially false statement or representation to a member of the General Assembly who is in the course of conducting an inquiry or investigation in his official capacity or on behalf of any committee or subcommittee of the Senate or House of Delegates is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill defines "state employee" and "appointed position."  

 
 SB1171 Public employment; inquiries by state agencies and localities regarding criminal convictions, charges, and arrests. Prohibits state agencies from including on any employment application a question inquiring whether the prospective employee has ever been arrested or charged with, or convicted of, any crime, subject to certain exceptions. A prospective employee may not be asked if he has ever been convicted of any crime unless the inquiry takes place after the prospective employee has received a conditional offer of employment, which offer may be withdrawn if the prospective employee has a conviction record that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the position. A prospective employee may not be asked if he has ever been arrested or charged with a crime unless the inquiry takes place after the prospective employee has received a conditional offer of employment, which offer may be withdrawn if (i) the prospective employee's criminal arrest or charge resulted in the prospective employee's conviction of a crime and (ii) the crime of which he was convicted directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the position. The prohibition does not apply to applications for employment with law-enforcement agencies or certain positions designated as sensitive or in instances where a state agency is expressly permitted to inquire into an individual's criminal history for employment purposes pursuant to any provision of federal or state law. The bill also authorizes localities to prohibit such inquiries.  
 SB1293 Department of Human Resources Management; criminal background checks; state agency positions designated as sensitive; agencies to report to the Department. Requires each state agency to create and annually update a list of the positions that it has designated as sensitive and submit the list to the Department of Human Resources Management by July 1 of each year. The bill clarifies who would be subject to a criminal background investigation in a sensitive position. The bill expands the definition of sensitive position to include those positions (i) responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of citizens or the protection of critical infrastructures; (ii) that have access to sensitive information, including information obtained from the Internal Revenue Service; and (iii) that are otherwise required by state or federal law to be designated as sensitive. The bill contains an emergency clause  
 SB1408 Step therapy protocols. Requires health benefit plans that restrict the use of any prescription drug through the use of a step therapy protocol to have in place a clear, convenient, and expeditious process for a prescribing medical provider to request an override of such restrictions for a patient. A step therapy protocol is a protocol or program that establishes the specific sequence in which prescription drugs for a specified medical condition are medically appropriate for a particular covered person and are covered by a health benefit plan or that conditions coverage of a prescription medication on a patient first trying an alternative medication without success. The measure requires the granting of a step therapy protocol override if (i) the required prescription drug is contraindicated or will likely cause an adverse reaction or physical or mental harm to the patient; (ii) the required prescription drug is expected to be ineffective on the basis of the known relevant physical or mental characteristics of the covered person and the known characteristics of the prescription drug regimen; (iii) the covered person has tried the required prescription drug while under his current or a previous health benefit plan or another prescription drug in the same pharmacologic class or with the same mechanism of action and such prescription drug was discontinued due to lack of efficacy or effectiveness, diminished effect, or an adverse event; or (iv) the required prescription drug is not in the best interest of the covered person, based on medical appropriateness  
 SB1412 Adoption leave benefit. Creates a new classification of paid leave for a state employee who adopts an infant. The amount of leave would be equivalent to the amount of paid leave awarded to an employee pursuant to short-term disability for maternity leave. The Department of Human Resource Management is directed to develop guidelines and policies for implementing the adoption leave benefit.