Governor Calls Special Session To Restore “Day of Rest” Exceptions

    By Labor & Employment

    For decades, Virginia has had a state law allowing certain employees to choose Saturday or Sunday as their day of rest. As of July 1st, an apparent inadvertent legislative change removed much relied upon exceptions to Virginia’s day of rest laws. When the newspapers brought this to the public’s attention, Virginia employers who employ workers on Saturday and Sunday were besieged by inquiries and requests by employees for weekend days off.

    On July 2nd, Kaufman & Canoles issued an EAlert advising that a Court had entered an order temporarily barring the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) from enforcing the law without its 22 exceptions. You were informed before the newspapers covered this story that the Judge indicated a reluctance to enter such an order and stated his preference for legislative action to correct the problem.

    Today, Governor Mark Warner utilized his powers under the Virginia Constitution to call a rare Special Session of the General Assembly to correct the error. His proclamation requires legislators to convene in Richmond on Tuesday, July 13 for the sole purpose of considering the reinstatement of the exceptions to Virginia’s day of rest laws.

    It is expected that this action will restore order and that employers will not face monetary penalties and triple-time pay orders that could have been issued by DOLI. Our K&C Employment Team has been working not only to keep employers informed of these developments, but we have joined business interests in urging such a legislative remedy. To further help employers understand the impact of this and other laws, Ms. Pamela Champ, the Eastern Regional Supervisor of the DOLI will be available at K&C’s 20th Annual Employment Law Update on July 22 at the Omni Hotel in Newport News to respond to any follow-up questions. Anyone interested in registering for this valuable day-long program covering all aspects of employment law should contact Kristen Bown at or call her at (757) 624-3295.

    The contents of this publication are intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts and circumstances. Copyright 2024.