VA SB480 | 2020 | Regular Session


Completed Legislative Action
Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill
Status: Passed on April 9 2020 - 100% progression
Action: 2020-04-09 - Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0949)
Text: Latest bill text (Chaptered) [HTML]


Covenants not to compete; low-wage employees; civil penalty. Prohibits an employer from entering into, enforcing, or threatening to enforce a covenant not to compete between the employer and a low-wage employee. The employer is subject to a civil penalty of $10,000 per violation. The bill defines "low-wage employee" as either (i) an employee, intern, student, apprentice, or trainee whose average weekly earnings are less than the average weekly wage of the Commonwealth or who is employed without pay or (ii) an independent contractor who is compensated for his services at an hourly rate that is less than the median hourly wage for the Commonwealth for all occupations as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The bill defines "covenant not to compete" as an agreement that restrains, prohibits, or otherwise restricts an individual's ability to compete with his former employer. The bill allows any low-wage employee subject to such a covenant not to compete to bring a civil action against an employer and seek appropriate relief, including enjoining the conduct of any person or employer, ordering payment of liquidated damages, and awarding lost compensation, damages, and reasonable attorney fees and costs. The bill provides that if the court finds a violation of the bill's provisions, the plaintiff is entitled to recover reasonable costs, including reasonable fees for expert witnesses, and attorney fees from the former employer or other person who attempts to enforce a covenant not to compete against such plaintiff. The bill requires all employers to post in the workplace a notice of the prohibition or a summary of the notice approved by the Department of Labor and Industry and provides that an employer is subject to a warning for a first offense and to a civil penalty for a subsequent offense for failure to post such notice or approved summary. The provisions of the bill are applicable to covenants not to compete entered into on or after July 1, 2020.

Tracking Information

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Employment; covenants not to compete, definition of low-wage employees, civil penalty.


Roll Calls

2020-03-07 - Senate - Senate: Conference report agreed to by Senate (34-Y 6-N) (Y: 34 N: 6 NV: 0 Abs: 0) [PASS]
2020-03-04 - House - House: VOTE: Agree To (74-Y 20-N) (Y: 74 N: 20 NV: 6 Abs: 0) [PASS]
2020-03-02 - Senate - Senate: Senate acceded to request (40-Y 0-N) (Y: 40 N: 0 NV: 0 Abs: 0) [PASS]
2020-02-26 - Senate - Senate: House substitute rejected by Senate (0-Y 40-N) (Y: 0 N: 40 NV: 0 Abs: 0) [FAIL]
2020-02-24 - House - House: VOTE: Passage (80-Y 19-N) (Y: 80 N: 19 NV: 1 Abs: 0) [PASS]
2020-02-18 - House - House: Reported from Labor and Commerce with substitute (19-Y 0-N) (Y: 19 N: 0 NV: 3 Abs: 0) [PASS]
2020-02-03 - Senate - Senate: Passed Senate (34-Y 6-N) (Y: 34 N: 6 NV: 0 Abs: 0) [PASS]
2020-02-03 - Senate - Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 1-N) (Y: 39 N: 1 NV: 0 Abs: 0) [PASS]
2020-02-03 - Senate - Senate: Engrossment reconsidered by Senate (39-Y 0-N) (Y: 39 N: 0 NV: 1 Abs: 0) [PASS]
2020-01-29 - Senate - Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (Y: 40 N: 0 NV: 0 Abs: 0) [PASS]
2020-01-27 - Senate - Senate: Reported from Commerce and Labor (14-Y 1-N) (Y: 14 N: 1 NV: 0 Abs: 0) [PASS]


2020-04-09 Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0949)
2020-04-09 Governor: Approved by Governor-Chapter 949 (effective 7/1/20)
2020-03-20 Governor: Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 11, 2020
2020-03-20SenateEnrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 20, 2020
2020-03-19HouseSigned by Speaker
2020-03-18SenateSigned by President
2020-03-18SenateBill text as passed Senate and House (SB480ER)
2020-03-07SenateConference report agreed to by Senate (34-Y 6-N)
2020-03-04HouseVOTE: Agree To (74-Y 20-N)
2020-03-04HouseConference report agreed to by House (74-Y 20-N)
2020-03-04SenateConference substitute printed 20109575D-S1
2020-03-04 Conference: Amended by conference committee
2020-03-03HouseDelegates: VanValkenburg, Gooditis, Marshall
2020-03-03HouseConferees appointed by House
2020-03-02SenateSenators: DeSteph, Spruill, Bell
2020-03-02SenateConferees appointed by Senate
2020-03-02SenateSenate acceded to request (40-Y 0-N)
2020-02-27HouseHouse requested conference committee
2020-02-27HouseHouse insisted on substitute
2020-02-26SenateHouse substitute rejected by Senate (0-Y 40-N)
2020-02-24HouseVOTE: Passage (80-Y 19-N)
2020-02-24HousePassed House with substitute (80-Y 19-N)
2020-02-24HouseEngrossed by House - committee substitute SB480H1
2020-02-24HouseCommittee substitute agreed to 20108594D-H1
2020-02-24HouseRead third time
2020-02-21HousePassed by for the day
2020-02-20HousePassed by for the day
2020-02-18HouseCommittee substitute printed 20108594D-H1
2020-02-18HouseReported from Labor and Commerce with substitute (19-Y 0-N)
2020-02-13HouseReferred to Committee on Labor and Commerce
2020-02-13HouseRead first time
2020-02-13HousePlaced on Calendar
2020-02-03SenatePassed Senate (34-Y 6-N)
2020-02-03SenateConstitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 1-N)
2020-02-03SenatePrinted as engrossed 20103725D-E
2020-02-03SenateEngrossed by Senate as amended SB480E
2020-02-03SenateAmendment by Senator Petersen agreed to
2020-02-03SenateReading of amendment waived
2020-02-03SenateEngrossment reconsidered by Senate (39-Y 0-N)
2020-01-31SenatePassed by for the day
2020-01-30SenateRead second time and engrossed
2020-01-29SenateConstitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)
2020-01-27SenateReported from Commerce and Labor (14-Y 1-N)
2020-01-07SenateReferred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
2020-01-07SenatePrefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20103725D

Same As/Similar To

HB330 (Same As) 2020-04-09 - Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0948)

Code Citations

ChapterArticleSectionCitation TypeStatute Text
40128.7:7(n/a)See Bill Text

Virginia State Sources

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Bill Comments