Virginia Labor Laws are, in fact, the same as those under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 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.
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.
Exempt or 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 (Update: $684/week as of 1/1/2020) 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 (Update: $684/week as of 1/1/2020), 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.
Employee misclassification is also common. 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.
A few of the most common 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. 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.
* 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. The Trump Administration has instead only increased the minimum salary to $684 per week, effective 1/1/2020. The prior salary limit was $455/week. Please see this page for the latest updates.
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. Fill out our free Case Evaluation Form today.