Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: June 20, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Announces Employment Equity Initiative for State Agencies

State employment application and compensation policies will promote fair and equitable pay

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the implementation of a two-part state Employment Equity Initiative designed to position the Commonwealth as a leader in equitable pay and employment. Beginning July 1, the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) will introduce a modern, streamlined, and competitive application process, along with revisions to the State Compensation Policy, to support fair and equitable pay.

“Since the beginning of my administration, we have worked every day to break down barriers to opportunity and make this Commonwealth a more inclusive and equitable place,” said Governor Northam. “This initiative adopts industry-wide best practices in compensation and employment, which will help attract and retain top talent in our state workforce and bring greater equity and overdue improvements to our state policies.”

Apart from required application information being added or deleted to comply with evolving state and federal employment law, the state job application has not been comprehensively re-designed in nearly 50 years. The streamlined application will eliminate salary history, school name, age indicator, and other fields with potential for unconscious bias; offer a preferred pronoun to highlight the state’s diversity and inclusion efforts; and allow the option to submit only a resume and personal information for consideration. In addition, for the first time, anyone seeking a state job will be able to use a mobile device to apply for a state position.

“When compared with our competitors, Virginia’s current time consuming and overly complex application has become a deterrent to those applying for state jobs,” said Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner. “While Virginia changed the Compensation Policy almost 20 years ago to provide a more flexible system, current or prior salary continues to be used as a base for percentage increases in pay when employees are hired or make career moves within state government.”

The new State Compensation Policy will provide a framework for fair and equitable pay. Virginia will also eliminate provisions that base starting pay and future salary adjustments on previous or existing salary; base all salary actions on the Commonwealth’s three salary alignment fairness factors: experience, competencies for the position, and relevant credentials; and ensure that the salaries of employees with comparable credentials doing comparable work are fairly aligned.

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