HR Management & Compliance

Virginia broadens unemployment eligibility for transferred military spouses

by Rachael E. Luzietti

A new Virginia law taking effect on July 1 will make more military spouses eligible for unemployment benefits.

Senate Bill 18, which was proposed by Senator Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton), provides that “good cause” exists if an employee leaves his job to accompany a spouse on active military duty who is transferred to a location that is not reasonably accessible to the spouse’s worksite.

The law applies only to employees relocating to a state with similar legislation. Unemployment benefits paid to eligible military spouses will be charged to the general compensation pool rather than the individual employer.

The new law will be in effect until December 31, 2020. The Virginia Employment Commission is required to report the statute’s impact on unemployment benefits to the Commission on Unemployment Compensation.

For more information on other measures passed and defeated during the Virginia General Assembly’s 2014 session, see the April issue of Virginia Employment Law Letter.

Rachael E. Luzietti is an attorney with DiMuroGinsberg, PC in Alexandria, Virginia. She can be contacted at


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