West Virginia Leave Laws

This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of West Virginia.

Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in West Virginia.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.

Paid or unpaid vacation time is not required by law in West Virginia.

Are Use It or Lose It Polices Legal in West Virginia?

West Virginia leave laws do not cover Use It or Lose It policies, suggesting that employers are free to enact such a policy in their business.

Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

PTO Payout Laws in West Virginia

West Virginia leave laws do not clearly state whether or not PTO payout is required upon separation (e.g. when an employee quits, is fired or retires).

The law implies that it is up to the employer’s written policy as to whether unpaid fringe benefits will be paid out upon separation. If the policy does not mention this, it’s likely that courts will rule in favor of the employee, and that unused PTO must be paid out.

Read More: PTO Payout Laws by State

Sick Leave in West Virginia

Sick leave is not required by law in West Virginia (paid or unpaid).

Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in West Virginia must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.

West Virginia State Holidays

The following official state holidays are observed in West Virginia:

January 1New Year’s Day
3rd Monday in JanuaryMartin Luther King, Jr. Day
3rd Monday in FebruaryPresident’s Day
Last Monday in MayMemorial Day
June 20West Virginia Day
July 4Independence Day
1st Monday in SeptemberLabor Day
2nd Monday in OctoberColumbus Day
November 11Veterans Day
4th Thursday in NovemberThanksgiving Day
Day after ThanksgivingDay After Thanksgiving
December 25Christmas
Any holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed on the previous Friday, while any holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed on the following Monday.

There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.

Maternity Leave in West Virginia

Maternity leave is not required by law in West Virginia.

The FMLA does apply, however, entitling new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.

Paternity Leave in West Virginia

Paternity leave is not covered by law in West Virginia either, but fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.

Bereavement Leave in West Virginia

Bereavement leave is not required by law in West Virginia (paid or unpaid).

Other Leave Types

Jury Duty Leave

Paid leave for jury duty is not required in West Virginia.

Voting Leave

Employees are entitled to up to three hours of paid leave to vote, unless they have at least three consecutive hours outside of their working hours while the polls are open with which they can vote.

Military Leave

Civil Air Patrol members are entitled to a maximum of 10 days per year unpaid time off for training, and a maximum of 30 days per year unpaid time off for Civil Air Patrol missions.

Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in West Virginia, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.

Anything not covered in West Virginia state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.

However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.

For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.

Official Resources



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