Virginia State Labor Laws

Below is an overview of the minimum wage and overtime pay laws that apply to workers in the state of Virginia. Private actions to enforce Virginia’s wage and hour laws, and recover unpaid overtime due to workers, are commonly brought (on a contingent fee basis) by employment law firms such as The Lore Law Firm. If you believe that you have been deprived of the overtime pay that you are legally entitled to, please contact us for a free and confidential review of your situation.

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Minimum Wage Regulations in the State of Virginia

Under Virginia Labor Laws, the state minimum wage will increase from $7.25 to $9.50 per hour as of May 1, 2021.

Further scheduled increases are:

  • 1/1/2022:  $11.00 per hour
  • 1/1/2023:  $12.00 per hour
  • 1/1/2025:  $13.50 per hour
  • 1/1/2026:  $15.00 per hour
  • 1/1/2027:   Adjusted based on consumer price index

Minimum wage under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is $7.25 per hour.

Like many other states, Virginia labor laws do not regulate or define benefits packages, vacation days, rest breaks or meal periods. Furthermore there are no restrictions on how long an employee may be required to work, or when those hours are, unless the employee is under the age of 16 and falls under the state child labor laws. 

Overtime Laws in the State of Virginia

This means that Virginia employees, like all U.S. workers, must receive overtime pay equal to at least 1-1/2 times their usual hourly pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

Virginia Laws Regarding Exempt vs Non-exempt Employees

The general rule of thumb (with some exceptions) is that non-exempt employees are hourly workers and those who are paid a salary of less that $455* per week ($684 per week as of 1/1/20) are usually protected by the provisions of the FLSA.

For the most part, again with exceptions, professional, executive, and administrative salaried employees are most often exempt from the FLSA overtime laws. These exemptions are based on the defined tests of the FairPay Overtime Rules which ALL must be met for the employee to be classified as exempt.

Most exempt employees must be paid a salary of more than $455* per week ($684 per week as of 1/1/20), the employees must often have advanced knowledge or creative ability which is used in the employees’ primary duties. Exempt employees must also exercise control as to how and when they accomplish their jobs.

* The Department of Labor under the Obama Administration increased this salary amount to $913 per week effective 12/1/2016; however, this increase was blocked by a court ruling. Instead, the Trump Administration only increased the minimum “exempt” salary to $684 per week ($35,568 per year) as of 1/1/2020.  Please see this page for the latest updates.

Virginia State Employee Misclassification

Employee misclassification is also common.

Case Example of Employee Misclassification

One example involved the new assistant manager of a tanning salon who spent most of the workday performing the same tasks done before the promotion—dealing with the customers and wiping down the tanning beds. The only difference was that the employee no longer received overtime pay. In that case the employer was required to reimburse the employee for unpaid overtime.

Common Overtime Violations in the State of Virginia

A few of the most common overtime violations under the Virginia labor laws are the same as those which occur under the Federal FLSA:

  • You receive comp (compensatory) time off instead of overtime pay.
  • You are mistakenly misclassified as an exempt worker and do not receive any overtime pay.
  • You are required to work “off the clock” either before clocking in or after clocking out. (e.g. required training or changing clothes while clocked out).

Regardless of whether the violation is accidental or not, employees have a right to be paid for their labor, even when it was not specifically authorized by an employer. When employers fail to pay an employee for overtime hours worked, the employee or employees are entitled to sue their employer for their unpaid wages.

Virginia Overtime Attorneys

They are also sometimes entitled to a penalty and attorney’s fees in addition to their wages. Because Virginia labor laws are essentially the same as Federal labor laws under the FLSA, any violation must be pursued under Federal overtime law. However, it is nearly always in your best interests to contact a knowledgeable overtime lawyer to find out if you have a legitimate overtime case against your employer. Experienced overtime attorneys such as those at the Lore Law Firm will be able to help you discover if you have a legal case under the FLSA and Virginia labor laws.