Hundreds of Virginia state employees have quit their jobs in the past two months after Governor Glenn Youngkin introduced a new policy to get people back to the office.

Following coronavirus-related workplace closures that led to work-from-home possibilities, the new policy forces people back into the office.

Many state employees choose to leave rather than lose the freedom and perks of working at home.

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It was reported that over 300 state employees have quit since the policy was implemented.

The initial return to office plan was announced in early May.

It required workers who choose to continue home-working to go through a lengthy approval process that includes a signature from Youngkin’s own chief of staff.

Staff who put in a request for continuing remote work had to go through a three-tiered approval procedure.

Those who wanted to work one day a week also had to ask permission from their supervisor.

While those seeking to work two days a week had to obtain permission from their department’s cabinet secretary. 

However, the governor’s chief of staff has to sign off on it for three or more days.

There were 183 resignations from the Virginia Department of Transportation, with 28 citing home-working opportunities as the reason for leaving.

The Virginia Department of Health had 78 resignations, while the Virginia Employment Commission had 37.

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Seven resigned from Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development and six resigned from Virginia’s Department of Emergency Management.

With over 21,000 state employees qualified for home-working, many state workers, including police, prison officers, and health care professionals, are not.

Several critics of Youngkin’s policy point out that it is unnecessarily making talented workers depart. 

Virginia Senator Ghazala Hashmi said: “Despite our best efforts, Youngkin refused to reconsider his disastrous executive action and pressed forward, regardless of longstanding state policies for telework.”

“Our Commonwealth loses talent, skills, and institutional knowledge. Virginians suffer,” she added.

Youngkin was elected governor of Virginia last year and made job creation a central theme of his election campaign.

Source: Fox Business

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