[Expert Hours] Join us on March 20th: Maximize Time Off While Ensuring Legal Compliance Register Now

West Virginia Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation Days, FMLA, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on January 23, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in West Virginia

Vacation Leave Quota 

No federal or West Virginia law requires employers to provide vacation leave.  

Private employers in West Virginia are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation.  

However, most employers in the US provide employees with 10 paid days off after being employed for 1 year.  

If an employer chooses to offer vacation leave to its employees, paid or unpaid, it must comply with appropriate state law, established company policy, and the employment contract. 

Accruals 

The accrual system is not required by law in West Virginia, but it is a common practice among many companies.   

Employers are generally free to design their own vacation accrual system, such as hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly increments. Accruals are usually based on the pay period. Official payroll frequency in West Virginia is bi-weekly. 

An employer is allowed to cap (limit) the amount of vacation time an employee can accrue during the year. 

Roll Over (Carry Over, Brought Forward) 

A “use-it-or-lose-it” policy is not forbidden.     

It is allowed to have a use-it-or-lose-it policy in which an employee forfeits any remaining vacation time after a certain date, usually at the end of the year. Since there is no specific mention of this policy in West Virginia’s law, employers are free to adopt it, but employees must agree to it in writing. 

Employers generally prefer a use-it-or-lose-it policy because some employees use little to no paid time off (PTO), and long-term employees can accumulate a substantial amount of PTO over the years, which can be expensive if paid out upon termination. 

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay 

An employer can choose whether to provide vacation pay or not. 

If an employer chooses to provide vacation pay, these benefits establish “compensation for work performed”, and must be paid to employees. However, an employer may establish a policy stating that accrued vacation time doesn’t constitute “wages”. 

Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination 

Not required by law; only if promised in the employer’s policy. 

An employer may legally establish a company policy or contract that denies employees payment for accumulated vacation time upon their departure from the company. If company policy is silent on this matter, an employer is also not required to pay accrued vacation leave that has not been used upon separation. 

Even though West Virginia doesn’t have a law requiring payment of accrued, unused vacation at termination, employers can still be responsible for paying this if there is a company policy that requires it.  

Sick Leave in West Virginia

Federal Laws – Leave Quota 

Federal law requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave.     

The standard federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to West Virginia (as it is in all the states in the U.S.A). The leave is job-protected.  

Employees qualify for FMLA benefits only if: 

  • they have been employed for at least 12 months (at least 25 hours per week) or 1,250 hours in the previous year 
  • they work in a location where at least 50 people are employed by the company (in a 75-mile radius)        

The FMLA entitles qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks off for: 

  • personal medical reasons – illness or injury 
  • to care for a close family member (child, spouse, or parent) suffering from a severe illness 
  • maternity or paternity leave.    

Employers are free to propose additional sick leave benefits that are better than the minimum federal requirement.      

Check out our article on FMLA to learn more. 

West Virginia State Laws 

There are no additional state sick leave laws. 

Currently, 23 states provide sick leave benefits. West Virginia isn’t one of them. 

West Virginia doesn’t have a sick leave law that requires employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, other than the federal FMLA. 

Payout 

Sick leave in West Virginia is unpaid. 

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA in West Virginia

Federal Law 

12 weeks of unpaid maternity/paternity leave is provided by FMLA.       

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for family or medical reasons, including maternity or paternity leave. Unless otherwise authorized by the employer, an employee must take this leave continuously. More information about FMLA eligibility can be found above, under the section Sick Leave in West Virginia: Federal Laws – Leave Quota.    

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is one more federal law that protects pregnant women. According to the PDA, discrimination against pregnant people is prohibited in all areas of employment: hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, fringe benefits, training, leave, and health insurance.    

Additional State Laws in West Virginia 

No additional maternity or paternity leave under state laws. 

Like many other states, West Virginia doesn’t require from private employers any kind of maternity or parental leave, paid or unpaid. Despite the lack of a legal requirement, many employers in West Virginia provide maternity or paternity leave plans. 

State employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave. 

Payout 

Maternity and paternity leave in West Virginia are unpaid (for private employers). 

Bereavement Leave in West Virginia (Funeral Leave)

An employer is not required to provide bereavement leave.      

An employer is not legally required to provide any paid or unpaid bereavement leave, or any time off to attend an immediate family member’s funeral.    

However, almost all companies in the United States provide paid bereavement leave to their employees. Employees are usually entitled to up to 3 consecutive days off. The most generous companies regarding bereavement leave offer up to a week or two weeks. 

Payout 

Bereavement leave in West Virginia is unpaid. 

Jury Duty Leave in West Virginia

Employers must provide employees with unpaid time off for jury duty. 

Employers are required to provide employees with unpaid, job-protected leave to report to jury selection or jury duty. An employee must show a jury summons letter to the immediate superior, one workday after receiving it, to be given the necessary leave. 

An employer may not fire, threaten to fire, penalize, or punish the employee due to jury service. 

Payout 

The employer pays: 

Employers in West Virginia are not required to pay employees for jury duty leave, but most employers do it as the court compensation is rather low. 

The court pays:         

Employees who serve as jurors in West Virginia are paid $15.00 a day (though juror pay is only a token amount).     

Military Leave in West Virginia

All employers in the U.S. must comply with USERRA. Additional state laws. 

Federal Law 

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that applies to employers of all sizes and types in the U.S. USERRA protects employees called to active duty in the U.S. military, including the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard. USERRA provides reinstatement rights, protection from discrimination, the right to continue group health care benefits for up to 24 months during their leave, and up to 5 years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions to this 5-year limit). 

West Virginia State Law 

Employees who are serving in the organized militia and are on active state duty have equal rights and benefits related to leave and reinstatement guaranteed under USERRA. 

An employer is required to offer their employees unpaid time off for Civil Air Patrol training, up to a maximum of 10 days per year, and for Civil Air Patrol missions, up to a maximum of 30 days per year. 

Payout 

Military leave in West Virginia is unpaid. 

Voting Leave in West Virginia

Up to 3 hours of paid leave.  

Employers are required to provide time for voting – up to 3 hours of paid time off – while the polls are open. To be eligible for the leave, an employee must request the leave at least 3 days before Election Day

An employer is not required to provide an employee with voting leave if the employee has 3 or more consecutive hours to vote before or after his/her shift while polls are open. 

Payout 

Paid by an employer; an employer in West Virginia may not deduct from a worker’s wages because of voting leave. 

West Virginia State Holidays in 2024

A leave for holidays is not required by state law. 

Private employers in West Virginia are not required to provide paid or unpaid leave for holidays. However, the majority of employers provide at least a few paid holidays.    

Holiday pay (“time and a half”) is also not required by law.   

West Virginia officially observes 12 state holidays.

A complete list of holidays celebrated in West Virginia in 2024:
Holiday Observed in 2024 General Date
New Year’s Day 2024 Monday, January 1 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Monday, February 19 3rd Monday in February
Memorial Day Monday, May 27 Last Monday in May
West Virginia Day Thursday, June 20 June 20
Independence Day Thursday, July 4 July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 2 1st Monday in September
Columbus Day Monday, October 14 2nd Monday in October
Veterans Day Monday, November 11 November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 28 4th Thursday of November
Day after Thanksgiving Friday, November 29 Friday after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day Wednesday, Dec. 25 December 25

Holidays that fall on Saturday are observed on the prior Friday; holidays that fall on Sunday are observed on the following Monday

2025
Holiday Observed in 2025 General Date
New Year’s Day 2025 Wed., Jan 1, 2025 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January

Sources

  1. West Virginia Legislature – Chapter 21. Labor, http://www.wvlegislature.gov/wvcode/code.cfm?chap=21&art=1
  2. West Virginia – Fair Labor Standards Act, https://personnel.wv.gov/SiteCollectionDocuments/Policies/FLSA.pdf
  3. West Virginia Quick and Easy Guide to Labor & Employment Law, https://www.bakerdonelson.com/webfiles/EZGuide/West_Virginia_LE_Easy_Guide.pdf
  4. The West Virginia Employment Law Guide, https://joinhomebase.com/state-labor-laws/west-virginia/
  5. Payroll and Benefits Guide United States – West Virginia, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/united-states-west-virginia/
  6. Leave Laws by State and Municipality: 50-State Charts, https://www.xperthr.com/fifty-state-charts/leave-laws-by-state-and-municipality/20973/

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

Manage PTO Like a Pro!

Join our monthly newsletter for expert tips and tricks on leave tracking.

You have subscribed successfully.