The minimum wage in Virginia is $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. However, it will rise to $9.50 per hour starting May 1, 2021, and then increase to $11.00 per hour starting in 2022 and $12.00 per hour in 2023.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows employers to pay a lower hourly minimum wage, as long as that wage plus the tips the employee earns adds up to at least the full minimum wage for each hour worked. If not, the employer has to make up the difference. In Virginia, employers can pay tipped employees an hourly wage of the minimum wage less tips actually received.
(For more information, see Nolo's article Tips, Tip Pooling, and Tip Credits.)
Virginia has no overtime laws, although you may be eligible for overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. To learn more, see Nolo's article Overtime Pay: Your Rights as an Employee and contact the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
Virginia does not require employers to provide lunch or rest breaks. However, you are entitled to be paid if you have to do any work during a break (for example, if you have to cover the phones while you eat lunch). And, generally, you are entitled to be paid for any short breaks (five to 20 minutes) your employer provides; this time is considered part of your work day.
To learn more about wage and hour laws in Virginia, contact the state Department of Labor and Industry.
Wage and hour laws set the basic standards for pay and time worked, covering issues like minimum wage, tips, overtime, meal and rest breaks, what counts as time worked, when you must be paid, things your employer must pay for, and so on.
The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act. Most states also have their own wage and hour laws, and some local governments (like cities and counties) do, too. An employer who is subject to more than one law must follow the law that is most generous to the employee. For example, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, but employers in states that have set a higher minimum wage must pay the higher amount.
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