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Personnel Record Disclosure Requirements Change in Virginia

At the beginning of this month, a change in Virginia Code became effective impacting how Va. employers release employee records.  The types of records impacted by this law cover several personnel areas, but I want to highlight that it includes information surrounding workplace injuries. The below post from Hancock Daniel, provides further detail surrounding the amended statue. Please contact me or another one of our Risk Advisors in Virginia with any questions about the updated law or best practices for record keeping of workplace injuries or incidents. 

Virginia Amends Personnel Record Disclosure Requirements

Beginning July 1, 2019, Virginia employers are required to provide certain personnel records to current and former employees upon written request.  The new law greatly expands the rights of employees to obtain personnel records and establishes penalties for non-complying employers. 

Changes to Virginia Code § 8.01-413.1

Virginia Code § 8.01-413.1 currently only addresses how personnel information may be subpoenaed and presented as evidence in litigation.  The 2019 amended statute adds the requirement that an employer must, upon written request, provide copies in any format of records reflecting the following information:

      • the employee’s dates of employment;
      • the employee’s wages or salary;
      • the employee’s job description and job title; and
      • any injuries sustained by the employee during the course of the employment.

A current or former employee or a current or former employee’s attorneys may submit a record request.  Reasonable fees for copies or providing electronic materials may be charged by the employer. 

The records must be provided within 30 days of receipt of the written request, though a single 30-day extension is permitted if written notice listing the reason for the delay is provided to the requestor.  Employers failing to provide requested records may be subpoenaed.  Additionally, a court may require an employer to pay the employee’s expenses and attorney fees if it finds the employer willfully failed without good cause to provide requested records or if the charges for the materials are unreasonable. 

Employers may withhold requested records only if the records contain a written statement by the employee’s treating physician or clinical psychologist that producing the employee’s record to the employee would be reasonably likely to result in physical harm or endanger the life of the employee or another person.  Even in these instances, the requested records must be produced to the employee’s attorney or authorized insurer.

Action for Employers

To avoid the potential costs and litigation associated with the amendments to Virginia Code § 8.01-413.1, employers should review their policies governing release of employee records and ensure that the policies comply with the new requirements.  Additionally, employers should train human resources personnel on these new obligations. 

Re-posted with permission. The information contained in this advisory is for general educational purposes only. It is presented with the understanding that neither the author nor Hancock, Daniel & Johnson, P.C, is offering any legal or other professional services. Since the law in many areas is complex and can change rapidly, this information may not apply to a given factual situation and can become outdated. Individuals desiring legal advice should consult legal counsel for up-to-date and fact-specific advice. Under no circumstances will the author or Hancock, Daniel & Johnson, P.C be liable for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages resulting from the use of this material.

Written by Mike Philhower

Mike Philhower joined Scott Insurance in 1995. He works out of Scott’s Richmond office where he manages a client portfolio that includes traditional property and casualty insurance, captives and group self insurance placements.

Call Mike at 804-545-2214 if you have any questions or need any additional assistance.


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Scott on the Front Lines: Prescription Drugs

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Scott Benefit Services has long been invested in helping our clients – and their employees- navigate the increasingly costly and complex world of prescription drugs.  Namely, we have helped our clients cut their pharmacy spends by an average of 19-36% through our revolutionary pharmacy benefits solution, Scott Rx Advantage.

Through customized consulting, our team helps our clients experience the benefits of collective buying power, superior contracting, world-class trend management systems and independent analytics. However, even with these measures, employers and employees alike continue to experience significant pains from the rising costs of prescription drugs.  At Scott, we understand these frustrations and believe that the status quo is not sustainable for our clients and their employees.  Therefore, we continually seek opportunities to make a difference and provide leadership in this vital work.  Read Full Story

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Managing Cash Flow in Construction

We were always focused on our profit and loss statement. But cash flow was not a regularly discussed topic. It was as if we were driving along, watching only the speedometer, when in fact we were running out of gas.”  – Michael Dell, Founder & CEO of Dell Technologies

It takes a broad skill-set to run a successful construction business and navigate the significant risks inherent in the industry.  Not only do you need to know the ins and outs of construction, you must also be skilled at business management and finance.  From executing contracts to understanding the bid process to managing resources, not the least of which is cash. The quote above from Michael Dell about cash flow is very timely and applicable for contractors.  A large surety company recently listed its “Top 10 Reasons Contractors are at Risk of Failing,” with Insufficient Cash Flow as #4 on the list.  Cash flow issues have historically been at the top of similar lists of construction industry risks.  The ability to quickly access cash is the universal resource to fix just about any issue that arises.

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