Constituent policy

Virginia Democrats urge Youngkin to roll back state’s new work-from-home policy

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Eight Democratic Virginia lawmakers are calling on Governor Glenn Youngkin to overthrow a new telework policy requiring all state employees to work full-time in person by July 5, with exceptions.

Several state government employees have been allowed to work remotely since 2020, but Governor Youngkin announced he was imposing a new policy that would bring them back to the office full-time starting July 5.

Virginia employees were given a May 20 deadline to get permission to work from home, but they must get an exception for health or other personal reasons.

The state’s eight Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Youngkin on May 18 saying they were writing on behalf of their constituents who work for the state and shared their “serious concerns” about the new policy.

“A top-down, universally enforced telecommuting policy ignores the varying differences that exist between job requirements and agency needs,” the lawmakers wrote.

Lawmakers — two state senators and six delegates — urged Youngkin to allow state agency heads to work with their employees on returning to their pre-pandemic work schedules after the Labor Day holiday and to create an interagency working group to review current policy and share recommended changes.

“We established the new telecommuting policy with flexibility for an employee and their supervisor to discuss telecommuting options and what suits their role and the organization,” Youngkin’s spokesperson wrote, Macaulay Porter, in an email. “Legislators’ concerns have been taken into account in the policy and its implementation.

Neighboring areas have already resumed work in person. State employees in Washington, DC and Maryland returned to in-person work last summer.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.