Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 44. Military and Emergency Laws
10/29/2020

Article 10. Privileges of United States Reserve, National Guard, and Naval Militia.

§ 44-93. Leaves of absence for employees of Commonwealth or political subdivisions.

A. All officers and employees of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth who are former members of the armed services or members of the organized reserve forces of any of the armed services of the United States or National Guard shall be entitled to leaves of absence from their respective duties, without loss of seniority, accrued leave, or efficiency rating, on all days during which they are engaged in federally funded military duty, to include training duty, or when called forth by the Governor pursuant to the provisions of § 44-75.1 or § 44-78.1.

There shall be no loss of regular employer pay during such leaves of absence, except that paid leaves of absence for federally funded military duty, to include training duty, shall not exceed fifteen workdays per federal fiscal year, and except that no officers or employees shall receive paid leave for more than fifteen workdays per federally funded tour of active military duty.

When relieved from such duty, they shall be restored to positions held by them when ordered to duty. If the office or position has been abolished or otherwise has ceased to exist during such leave of absence, they shall be reinstated in a position of like seniority, status and pay, if the position exists, or in a comparable vacant position for which they are qualified, unless to do so would be unreasonable.

For the purposes of this section, with respect to employees of the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions who do not normally work approximately equal workdays on five or more days of each calendar week, the term "workday" shall mean 1/260 of the total working hours such employee would be scheduled to work during an entire federal fiscal year, not taking into account any state holidays, annual leave, military leave, or other absences. Where such employee returns from federally funded military duty and the eight-hour rest period required by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq.) overlaps such employee's scheduled work shift, the employee shall receive paid military leave to the extent of such overlap.

B. In addition to the provisions of subsection A, any local government may pay such employee when activated for federally funded military duty all or any portion of the difference between his regular pay and the military pay received during all or any part of the term of active federally funded duty.

1930, p. 966; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(78); 1958, c. 393; 1964, c. 227; 1966, c. 295; 1968, c. 503; 1983, c. 590; 1984, c. 540; 1985, c. 103; 1986, c. 611; 1989, cc. 414, 474; 1991, c. 653; 2002, cc. 212, 354; 2006, c. 621; 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-93.1. Supplement of military pay and additional life insurance benefits for employees of Commonwealth or political subdivisions.

A. In addition to the paid military leave provisions of § 44-93, the Commonwealth or any political subdivision of the Commonwealth may supplement the military pay of its officers and employees who are reservists or national guard members called to federally funded military duty in an amount necessary to bring their total salary, inclusive of their base military pay, to the level earned at the time they were called to federally funded military duty. The employer may also, in its discretion, continue to provide any health insurance and other existing benefits to such officers and employees.

B. In addition to any other benefit provided by law, if an employee of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision has been called to federal active duty services under Title 10 of the United States Code, the Commonwealth shall provide an additional death benefit in the amount of $20,000 to be paid if the employee is killed in action in any armed conflict while serving with any reserve component of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard or with any unit of these respective services of the United States.

2002, c. 354; 2005, cc. 907, 910.

§ 44-93.2. Leaves of absence from nongovernmental employment.

A member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force, or a person who is a member of the National Guard of another state and who is otherwise employed in the Commonwealth, called to state active duty or military duty pursuant to Title 32 of the United States Code shall have the right to take leave without pay from his nongovernmental employment. No member of the National Guard or Virginia Defense Force, or person who is a member of the National Guard of another state, shall be forced to use or exhaust his vacation or other accrued leaves from his nongovernmental employment for a period of active service. The choice of leave shall be solely within the discretion of the member.

2002, c. 354; 2007, cc. 167, 214; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2015, c. 221; 2016, c. 327; 2018, c. 216.

§ 44-93.3. Reemployment rights.

Upon honorable release from state active duty or military duty pursuant to Title 32 of the United States Code, a member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force, or a person who is a member of the National Guard of another state and who was previously employed in the Commonwealth, shall make written application to his previous employer for reemployment within (i) 14 days of his release from duty or from hospitalization following release if the length of the member's absence by reason of service in the uniformed services does not exceed 180 days or (ii) 90 days of his release from duty or from hospitalization following release if the length of the member's absence by reason of service in the uniformed services exceeds 180 days. When released from such duty, they shall be restored to positions held by them when ordered to duty. If the office or position has been abolished or otherwise has ceased to exist during such leave of absence, they shall be reinstated in a position of like seniority, status and pay if the position exists, or to a comparable vacant position for which they are qualified, unless to do so would be unreasonable. This section shall not apply when the cumulative length of the absence and of all previous absences from a position of employment with that employer by reason of service in the uniformed services exceeds five years.

2002, c. 354; 2007, cc. 167, 214; 2010, c. 253; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2015, c. 221; 2016, c. 327; 2018, c. 216.

§ 44-93.4. Discrimination against persons who serve in the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Defense Force, or National Guard of another state and acts of reprisal prohibited.

A. A member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force, or a person who is a member of the National Guard of another state, who performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform state active duty or military duty pursuant to Title 32 of the United States Code shall not be denied initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer within the Commonwealth on the basis of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation.

B. A person shall be considered to have denied a member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force, or a person who is a member of the National Guard of another state, initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or a benefit of employment within the Commonwealth in violation of this section if the member's membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service is a motivating factor in that person's action, unless the person can prove by the greater weight of the evidence that the same unfavorable action would have taken place in the absence of the member's membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service.

2002, c. 354; 2007, cc. 167, 214; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2015, c. 221; 2016, c. 327; 2018, c. 216.

§ 44-93.5. Penalties for denial.

If any employer fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of §§ 44-93, 44-93.2, 44-93.3 and 44-93.4, the circuit court having jurisdiction over the employer's place of business may, upon the filing of a motion, petition, or other appropriate pleading by the employee, require the employer to comply with §§ 44-93, 44-93.2, 44-93.3 and 44-93.4 and to compensate the employee for any loss of wages or benefits and reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred by reason of the employer's unlawful failure or refusal. Upon request of the affected employee, the Attorney General may represent personally or through one of his assistants, such employee denied the benefits of §§ 44-93, 44-93.2, 44-93.3 and 44-93.4 while in the performance of state active duty.

2002, c. 354; 2004, c. 147; 2007, cc. 167, 214.

§ 44-94. Exemption from jury duty.

The active officers and members of the National Guard shall be exempt from serving on juries in civil and criminal cases upon presentation to the clerk of the court of a certificate of such membership signed by the commanding officer of the unit of which the person summoned for jury service is a member.

1930, p. 966; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(79); 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-95. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1958, c. 393.

§ 44-96. Military property exempt from levy and sale.

The uniforms, arms, and equipment required by law or regulations of every commissioned and warrant officer and every enlisted person of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force shall be exempt from sale under any execution, distress, or other process for debt and taxes.

1930, p. 966; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(81); 1958, c. 393; 1984, c. 765; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-97. Exemption from arrest.

No person belonging to the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force shall be arrested on any process issued by or from any civil officer or court, except in cases of felony or breach of the peace, while going to, remaining at or returning from any place at which he may be required to attend for military duty; nor in any case whatsoever while actually engaged in the performance of his military duties, except with the consent of his commanding officer.

1930, p. 966; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(82); 1984, c. 765; 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-97.1. Continuance or time for filing pleading, etc., where party or attorney is on active duty.

Any party to or attorney in an action or proceeding in any court, including the Supreme Court of Virginia, commission, or other tribunal having judicial or quasi-judicial powers or jurisdiction who has been ordered to participate in state active duty, annual active duty for training, or temporary active duty in the reserve forces of any of the armed services of the United States or National Guard shall be entitled to a continuance, not to exceed three weeks, as a matter of right during the period of such duty, provided the continuance is requested at least four days prior to the first day for which the continuance is sought. The period required by any statute or rule for the filing of any pleading or the performance of any act relating thereto shall be extended for seven days after such active duty, provided a request is made four days prior to the date the pleading or act is due. The failure of any court, commission, or other tribunal to allow such continuance when requested to do so or the returning of such filing or act during the period hereinabove specified shall constitute reversible error. This section shall not prevent the granting of temporary injunctive relief or the dissolution or extension of a temporary injunction, but the right to such relief shall remain in the sound discretion of the court or other such tribunal.

1981, c. 288; 1990, c. 790; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-98. Interference with employment of members of Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force.

A person who, either by himself or with another, deprives a member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force of his employment, or prevents, by himself or another, such member being employed, or obstructs or annoys such member or his employer at his trade, business, or employment, because such member of such organization is such member, or dissuades any person from enlistment in the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force by threat or injury to him in his trade, business, or employment in case he shall so enlist, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding $500, or imprisonment in jail not more than 30 days, or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment.

1930, p. 967; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(83); 1958, c. 393; 1984, c. 765; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-99. Organizations may own property; suits.

Companies or other organizations of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force shall have the right to own and keep real and personal property necessary for their use, which shall belong to and be under control of the active members of the unit; and the commanding officer of any unit shall have the right and power to maintain any suit, in his own name, to recover for the use of the unit any debts or effects belonging to the unit, or damages for the injury thereof; and no suit pending in his name shall be abated by his ceasing to be the commanding officer of the unit; but upon motion of the commander succeeding him, such commander shall be admitted to prosecute the suit in like manner and with like effect as if it had been originally instituted by him. Armories owned by such units shall be exempt from all state, county and municipal taxation.

1930, p. 967; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(84); 1958, c. 393; 1984, c. 765; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-100. No action allowed on account of military duties; counsel for members sued or prosecuted.

No action or proceeding shall be prosecuted or maintained against a member of a military court, or officer or person acting under its authority or reviewing its proceedings, on account of the approval or imposition or execution of any sentence, or the imposition or collection of fine or penalty, or the execution of any warrant, writ, execution, process, or mandate of a military court, nor shall any member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force be liable to civil action or suit or criminal prosecution for any act done while in the discharge of his military duty.

If any member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force is sued civilly or arrested, indicted, or otherwise prosecuted for any act committed in the discharge of his official duty while on state duty, the Adjutant General may employ special counsel approved by the Attorney General to defend such member. The compensation for special counsel employed pursuant to this section shall, subject to the approval by the Attorney General, be paid out of the funds appropriated for the administration of the Department of Military Affairs.

1930, p. 967; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(85); 1972, c. 416; 1973, c. 401; 1984, c. 765; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2015, c. 221.

§ 44-101. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1958, c. 544.

§ 44-102. Commission not to vacate civil office.

Any citizen of the Commonwealth may accept and hold a commission in the Virginia National Guard and receive pay therefrom or a commission in the Virginia Defense Force or armed forces reserve of the United States, without thereby vacating any civil office or position or commission held by him; and the acceptance or holding of any such commission, and receiving pay therefrom shall not constitute such holding of an office of trust and profit under the government of the Commonwealth and of the United States as shall be incompatible with the holding of any civil office, legislative or judicial, or position or commission under the government of the Commonwealth.

1930, p. 968; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(87); 1958, c. 393; 1984, c. 765; 2011, cc. 572, 586.

§ 44-102.1. Rights, benefits and protections upon call to active duty; contract termination.

A. Any right, benefit, or protection that may accrue to a member of the Virginia National Guard under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. § 3901 et seq.), as a result of a call to federal active duty service under Title 10 of the United States Code shall be extended to a member of the Virginia National Guard called to active duty service under Title 32 of the United States Code, or to state active duty by the Governor, if the active duty orders are for a period of 30 consecutive days or more. In addition, if a member of the Virginia National Guard is called to state active duty by the Governor, the employer shall ensure that the member has the option of continuing, at the member's expense, his health care coverage, life insurance, or long-term care insurance.

B. Any member of the United States Armed Forces or Virginia National Guard who receives permanent change of station orders or has received temporary duty orders in excess of three months' duration, his spouse, or his dependent may, at any time prior to the conclusion of his period of service, terminate without penalty a contract for the following services:

1. Telecommunications services;

2. Internet services;

3. Television services;

4. Athletic club or gym memberships;

5. Satellite radio services; or

6. Service for an alarm system as defined in § 15.2-911.

It shall be a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) for a service provider to fail to comply with the provisions of this subsection.

2003, c. 769; 2010, cc. 811, 861; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2017, c. 293.

§ 44-102.2. Virginia Military Family Relief Fund established.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Military Family Relief Fund (the Fund). The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller and administered by the Office of the Adjutant General for the purposes set forth herein. All moneys as may be appropriated by the General Assembly, private gifts, grants, or donations contributed to the Fund, and revenues received by the Commonwealth for the Fund pursuant to § 58.1-344.3 shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of assisting members of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia residents who are members of the reserves of the armed forces of the United States who have been called to extended federal active duty for periods in excess of 90 days and missions in support of Virginia civil authorities, including state active duty and federal defense support to civil authority missions, for periods in excess of 30 days, and their families, with living expenses including, but not limited to food, housing, utilities, and medical services. Assistance may be provided from the Fund from the date of entry into active duty until 180 days after release from active duty. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Adjutant General.

B. The Adjutant General shall submit an annual report to the Governor and the chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Committee on Finance of the General Assembly. The report shall detail:

1. The expenditures of the Fund, including the amount of awards provided from the Fund to each branch of service, the amount of individual and family assistance provided, the qualifications of the recipients, and the balance available in the Fund for future disbursements; and

2. The name, address, rank, branch of service, deployment location, and amount of financial assistance provided to each recipient. The information provided under this subdivision that identifies a recipient or members of the recipient's family or the deployment location of any member of the Virginia National Guard or the reserves of the armed forces of the United States shall be confidential and shall not be subject to public disclosure.

2006, cc. 103, 479; 2007, cc. 73, 911; 2015, c. 320.

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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