Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
8/21/2017

Virginia Personnel Act

§ 2.2-2900. Short title; purpose.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Virginia Personnel Act."

The purpose of this chapter is to ensure for the Commonwealth a system of personnel administration based on merit principles and objective methods of appointment, promotion, transfer, layoff, removal, discipline, and other incidents of state employment.

Code 1950, § 2-78; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-110; 1970, c. 546; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-2901. Appointments, promotions and tenure based upon merit and fitness.

A. In accordance with the provisions of this chapter all appointments and promotions to and tenure in positions in the service of the Commonwealth shall be based upon merit and fitness, to be ascertained, as far as possible, by the competitive rating of qualifications by the respective appointing authorities.

Persons holding positions in the service of the Commonwealth on July 1, 1952, shall be deemed to be holding their positions as though they had received appointment under the terms of this chapter.

B. Persons who leave the service of the Commonwealth for service in any of the armed forces of the United States shall be entitled to be restored to such positions upon the termination of their service with the armed forces, provided such persons, except for good cause shown, have filed an application for restoration to such positions within 90 calendar days following such termination of military service, accompanied by a certificate attesting that the military duty was satisfactorily performed. Such persons shall thereafter hold such positions as though they had received appointment under the terms of this chapter, except as to any such position which, in the meantime, may have been abolished. Any such former employee returning to, or applying for, employment in the state service, as provided by this section, shall be considered as having at least as favorable a status with reference to this chapter as he would have occupied if his service had been continuous.

C. No establishment of a position or rate of pay, and no change in rate of pay shall become effective except on order of the appointing authority and approval by the Governor. This subsection shall not apply to any position the compensation of which is at a rate of $1,200 per annum or less.

D. In order to attract and retain professional auditors, accountants and staff members in the service of the Auditor of Public Accounts, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission may establish scales of pay for such positions notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter. Such scales when established and certified to the Department of Human Resource Management and the Comptroller shall be applicable in the stead of the scales established under the personnel plan.

E. The governing boards of public institutions of higher education shall establish policies for the designation of administrative and professional faculty positions at such institutions. Those designations shall be reserved for positions that require a high level of administrative independence, responsibility, and oversight within the organization or specialized expertise within a given field as defined by the governing board. The authority under this subsection to establish policies for the designation of administrative and professional faculty positions shall be granted only to those institutions that meet the conditions prescribed in subsection A of § 23.1-1002.

Code 1950, § 2-79; 1956, c. 380; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-111; 1968, c. 784; 1972, c. 582; 1973, c. 507; 2000, cc. 66, 657; 2001, c. 844; 2005, cc. 933, 945.

§ 2.2-2902. Use of tobacco products by state employees.

No employee of or applicant for employment with the Commonwealth shall be required, as a condition of employment, to smoke or use tobacco products on the job, or to abstain from smoking or using tobacco products outside the course of his employment, provided that this section shall not apply to those classes of employees to which § 27-40.1 or § 51.1-813 is applicable.

1989, c. 511, § 15.1-29.18; 1997, c. 587, § 2.1-111.1; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-2902.1. Rights of state employees to contact elected officials.

Nothing in this chapter or Chapter 12 (§ 2.2-1200 et seq.) of this title shall be construed to prohibit or otherwise restrict the right of any state employee to express opinions to state or local elected officials on matters of public concern, nor shall a state employee be subject to acts of retaliation because the employee has expressed such opinions.

For the purposes of this section "matters of public concern" means those matters of interest to the community as a whole, whether for social, political, or other reasons and shall include discussions that disclose any (i) evidence of corruption, impropriety, or other malfeasance on the part of government officials; (ii) violations of law; or (iii) incidence of fraud, abuse, or gross mismanagement.

2005, c. 483.

§ 2.2-2903. Grade or rating increase and other preferences for veterans and their surviving spouses and children, and members of the National Guard.

A. In a manner consistent with federal and state law, if any veteran, or surviving spouse, or child, or member of the National Guard applies for employment with the Commonwealth that is based on the passing of any written examination, the grade or rating of the veteran, surviving spouse, or child on such examination shall be increased by five percent. However, if the veteran has a service-connected disability rating fixed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, his grade or rating shall be increased by 10 percent on such written examination. Such increases shall apply only if the veteran passes such examination.

B. In a manner consistent with federal and state law, if any veteran, surviving spouse, or child, applies for employment with the Commonwealth that is not based on the passing of any examination, the veteran, surviving spouse, or child, shall be given preference by the Commonwealth during the selection process, provided that the veteran, surviving spouse, or child, meets all of the knowledge, skill, and ability requirements for the available position. Additional consideration shall also be given to veterans who have a service-connected disability rating fixed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Human Resource Management shall develop and distribute guidelines as an addendum to the Hiring Policy for Executive Branch agencies to provide guidance to agencies to comply with the preference of this section.

C. A member of the National Guard applying for a position or job classification under this chapter and possessing the necessary qualifications for such position or job classification shall be entitled to a separate preference as provided in this subsection. When a member of the National Guard or a veteran has applied for a position or job classification that requires an assessment using numerical ratings, points equal to five percent of the total points available from the assessment device or devices shall be added to the passing score of the applicant member of the National Guard or veteran. In an assessment not using numerical ratings, consideration shall be afforded to a member of the National Guard provided that member meets all of the knowledge, skill, and ability requirements for the available position.

The preference under this subsection shall not be applied for a position that is limited to state employees. In addition, the preference provided by this subsection shall not be applied if any other applicant for the position or job classification is (i) a veteran or (ii) a former prisoner of war.

D. If any veteran, or surviving spouse, or child, or member of the National Guard is denied employment with the Commonwealth, he shall be entitled, to the extent permitted by law, to request and inspect information regarding the reasons for such denial.

E. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Child" means any surviving child or children under the age of 27 years of a veteran as defined herein who was killed in the line of duty.

"Member of the National Guard" means a person who (i) is presently serving as a member of the Virginia National Guard and (ii) has satisfactorily completed required initial active-duty service.

"Surviving spouse" means the surviving spouse of a veteran as defined herein who was killed in the line of duty.

"Veteran" means any person who has received an honorable discharge and (i) has provided more than 180 consecutive days of full-time, active-duty service in the armed forces of the United States or reserve components thereof, including the National Guard, or (ii) has a service-connected disability rating fixed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Code 1950, § 2-80; 1952, c. 119; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-112; 1985, c. 115; 1997, c. 309; 2001, c. 844; 2005, c. 413; 2007, cc. 336, 605; 2012, cc. 266, 269, 287.

§ 2.2-2903.1. State employees ordered to active military service.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Active military duty" means federally funded military duty as (i) a member of the armed forces of the United States on active duty pursuant to Title 10 U.S.C. or (ii) a member of the Virginia National Guard on active duty pursuant to either Title 10 or Title 32 U.S.C.

"State employee" means any person who is regularly employed full time on either a salaried or wage basis, whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, in the service of, and whose compensation is payable, no more often than biweekly, in whole or in part, by the Commonwealth or any department, institution or agency thereof.

B. For any state employee who has been ordered to active military service in the armed forces of the United States or in the organized reserve forces of any of the armed services of the United States or of the Virginia National Guard, the Commonwealth shall allow the use of accrued annual leave for active military duty according to personnel policies developed by the Department of Human Resource Management.

2003, c. 789.

§ 2.2-2904. Classification of persons who have passed certified professional secretary examination.

Clerical personnel who have passed all parts of the certified professional secretary examination, evidenced by certification by the Institute for Certifying Secretaries, a department of the National Secretaries Association (International), or the professional legal secretary examination, evidenced by certification by the Certifying Board of the National Association of Legal Secretaries (International), shall be assured that this certification will be taken into consideration when opportunity for promotion becomes available.

1975, c. 393, § 2.1-114.1; 1977, c. 104; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-2905. Certain officers and employees exempt from chapter.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:

1. Officers and employees for whom the Constitution specifically directs the manner of selection;

2. Officers and employees of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals;

3. Officers appointed by the Governor, whether confirmation by the General Assembly or by either house thereof is required or not;

4. Officers elected by popular vote or by the General Assembly or either house thereof;

5. Members of boards and commissions however selected;

6. Judges, referees, receivers, arbiters, masters and commissioners in chancery, commissioners of accounts, and any other persons appointed by any court to exercise judicial functions, and jurors and notaries public;

7. Officers and employees of the General Assembly and persons employed to conduct temporary or special inquiries, investigations, or examinations on its behalf;

8. The presidents and teaching and research staffs of state educational institutions;

9. Commissioned officers and enlisted personnel of the National Guard;

10. Student employees in institutions of learning and patient or inmate help in other state institutions;

11. Upon general or special authorization of the Governor, laborers, temporary employees, and employees compensated on an hourly or daily basis;

12. County, city, town, and district officers, deputies, assistants, and employees;

13. The employees of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission;

14. The officers and employees of the Virginia Retirement System;

15. Employees whose positions are identified by the State Council of Higher Education and the boards of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Science Museum of Virginia, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Natural History, the New College Institute, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, and The Library of Virginia, and approved by the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management as requiring specialized and professional training;

16. Employees of the Virginia Lottery;

17. Production workers for the Virginia Industries for the Blind Sheltered Workshop programs;

18. Employees of the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Authority;

19. Employees of the University of Virginia Medical Center. Any changes in compensation plans for such employees shall be subject to the review and approval of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia. The University of Virginia shall ensure that its procedures for hiring University of Virginia Medical Center personnel are based on merit and fitness. Such employees shall remain subject to the provisions of the State Grievance Procedure (§ 2.2-3000 et seq.);

20. In executive branch agencies the employee who has accepted serving in the capacity of chief deputy, or equivalent, and the employee who has accepted serving in the capacity of a confidential assistant for policy or administration. An employee serving in either one of these two positions shall be deemed to serve on an employment-at-will basis. An agency may not exceed two employees who serve in this exempt capacity;

21. Employees of Virginia Correctional Enterprises. Such employees shall remain subject to the provisions of the State Grievance Procedure (§ 2.2-3000 et seq.);

22. Officers and employees of the Virginia Port Authority;

23. Employees of the Virginia College Savings Plan;

24. Directors of state facilities operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services employed or reemployed by the Commissioner after July 1, 1999, under a contract pursuant to § 37.2-707. Such employees shall remain subject to the provisions of the State Grievance Procedure (§ 2.2-3000 et seq.);

25. Employees of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Such employees shall be treated as state employees for purposes of participation in the Virginia Retirement System, health insurance, and all other employee benefits offered by the Commonwealth to its classified employees;

26. Employees of the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission;

27.(Effective October 1, 2016) Any chief of a campus police department that has been designated by the governing body of a public institution of higher education as exempt, pursuant to § 23.1-809; and

28.(Effective July 1, 2018) The Chief Executive Officer, agents, officers, and employees of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

Code 1950, § 2-84; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-116; 1973, c. 401; 1981, c. 8; 1982, c. 582; 1984, cc. 290, 703; 1985, c. 596; 1987, c. 531; 1989, c. 560; 1990, c. 937; 1992, Sp. Sess., c. 5; 1993, c. 510; 1994, cc. 48, 64, 653; 1995, c. 757; 1996, cc. 53, 905, 933, 995, 1046; 1997, cc. 232, 711, 785, 861; 1999, c. 576; 2000, cc. 66, 382, 400, 657, 720; 2001, c. 844; 2002, cc. 271, 572; 2003, c. 652; 2005, c. 716; 2007, c. 192; 2009, cc. 424, 554, 589, 596, 813, 840; 2013, c. 571; 2014, c. 225; 2015, cc. 38, 221, 730.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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