New Legislation Taking Effect – Effective July 1, 2024

As a result of the 2023 elections, Virginia continues to experience divided political control of government. While the Republican Party continues to hold control of the Governor’s Mansion, both divisions of the General Assembly are now under narrow Democratic control – House of Delegates (51-49) and Senate (21-19).

Much like the 2023 legislative session, this year there was little appetite to enact sweeping changes. Of the ten bills introduced, four were enacted, five were left in the House, and one bill was vetoed by Governor Youngkin. While the four bills left in the House are dead for this year’s legislative session, the General Assembly will reconvene on April 17th to reconsider the bill vetoed by the Governor (HB 974). To overcome a Governor’s veto, both houses of the General Assembly must pass the bill by a two-thirds vote. If this is accomplished, the bill will become law without the governors’ signature. However, HB 974 only narrowly passed the House and the Senate the first time through, indicating this bill may not be able to overcome the Governor’s veto.

The bills that were passed this legislative session focus on procedural matters and do not enact substantial substantive changes. The bills that were not passed focused largely on expanding presumptions for dispatchers, law enforcement officers, and firefighters. As several of these bills were continued to 2025, we would expect presumption expansions to be a heavy focus of next year’s legislative session.

Additionally, the Commission has advised that effective July 1, 2024, the maximum compensation rate will increase from $1,343.00 to $1,410.00 and the minimum compensation rate will increase from $335.75 to $352.50. Effective October 1, 2024, the cost of living adjustment (COLA) rate will be 3.35%, a notable decrease from 2023’s COLA rate of 6.4%.


HB 205: Prompt Payment, Limitation on Claims – Prohibits an employer or workers’ compensation carrier from seeking recovery of a payment made to a health care provider for health care services rendered to a claimant unless such recovery is sought less than one year from the date payment was made to the health care provider. This bill also prohibits a health care provider from submitting a claim contesting the sufficiency of payment for health care services rendered to a claimant unless claim is filed within one year of the date the last payment is received by the health care provider. (01/29/24 Passed House 97-Y 1-N) (02/29/24 Passed Senate 39-Y 0-N) (03/28/24 Approved by Governor – Chapter 177, effective July 1, 2024).

This bill is fairly balanced and imposes the same limitations on employer reimbursement claims as on provider underpayment claims. The net effect of this bill will be a sudden end to the “ancient” claims for treatment prior to July 1, 2024, which were difficult to investigate and defend.

HB 1418: Administrative Process Act – Exempts certain rules of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission from the requirements of the Administrative Process Act, provided that the Commission provides an opportunity for public comment on the rules prior to adoption. (02/05/24 Passed House 98-Y 0-N) (02/29/24 Passed Senate 39-Y 0-N) (04/05/24 Approved by Governor – Chapter 559, effective July 1, 2024).

This bill was largely for clarification purposes as most Commission rulemaking had been previously enacted under less formal conditions than those required by the Administrative Process Act.

HJ 99/HR 43: Nominated and Elected Commissioner Wesley G. Marshall to serve another 6-year term. (01/24/24 Passed House 97-Y 0-N) (01/24/24 Passed Senate 40-Y 0-N) (Does not require approval by the Governor)

Commissioner Marshall’s re-election was very much expected and marks the start of the Commissioner’s third consecutive 6-year term.

SB 241: Notice of Denial and Right to Dispute Denial – When a claim is denied, this bill requires that an employer or insurer shall include in its letter denying benefits a notice that the employee has a right to dispute the claim denial through the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. (01/29/24 Passed Senate 29-Y 11-N) (03/01/24 Passed House 70-Y 27-N) (04/05/24 Approved by Governor – Chapter 584, effective July 1, 2024).

This bill requires that every denial of claim be accompanied by specific language set forth in the statute, which can be found here:



HB 974: Proof by Circumstantial Evidence – Would provide that where an employee suffers an unexplained fall in the course of employment, such employee would be able to satisfy the burden of proof by circumstantial evidence, testimony of others, other evidence, or any combination thereof. (02/06/24 Passed House 54-Y 45-N) (02/29/24 Passed Senate 20-Y 19-N) (03/28/24 Vetoed by Governor).


HB 68: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Incurred by Dispatchers – Would have allowed dispatchers to claim workers’ compensation benefits relating to post-traumatic stress disorder. Currently, only law-enforcement officers and firefighters may claim such benefits. (Introduced by the House, Continued to 2025)

HB 274: Presumption of Compensability of Infertility for Firefighters – Would have expanded current presumptions for firefighters to include presumption that firefighters who suffer from infertility are presumed to have developed infertility during the course and scope of employment in certain instances. This bill would have provided for compensation including medical treatment, temporary total disability benefits, and temporary partial disability benefits for a maximum period of 52 weeks from date of diagnosis. (Introduced by the House, Continued to 2025).

HB 1226: PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Depressive Disorder for Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters – Would have removed the 52-week cap for benefits for law enforcement officers and firefighters with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, or depressive disorder incurred in the line of duty. (Introduced by the House, Continued to 2025).

HB 1300: Definition of Occupational Disease – Would have clarified that for the purpose of workers’ compensation, “occupation disease” does not include certain physical conditions resulting from repetitive and sustained physical stressors. (Introduced by House, Left in the Labor and Commerce Committee).

HB 531: Injuries Caused by Repetitive and Sustained Physical Stressors – The inverse of HB 1300, this bill would have expanded the definition of “occupational disease” to include injuries or diseases from conditions resulting from repetitive and sustained physical stressors, including repetitive motions, exertions, posture stresses, contact stresses, vibrations, or noises. Further, the bill would have provided that such injuries or diseases are covered under the Act and that such coverage does not require that such repetitive or sustained physical stress occurred over a particular time period, provided that the time period over which such physical stress occurred can be reasonably identified. (Introduced by House, Continued to 2025).


Should you have any questions about the issues discussed here or other legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Ford Richardson.

Ford Richardson is a full-service law firm with headquarters located in Richmond’s financial district and satellite offices in Roanoke, Fairfax and Virginia Beach and Washington, D.C..

Our commitment to our clients is simple: offer top-tier clear legal solutions that allow our clients to excel in their business.

We are privileged to give back to our community and believe it is our responsibility to do so. Our attorneys and support staff serve as leaders and volunteers to a wide array of civic and charitable organizations.

Posted In: E-Blast