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Virginia Wage Law Guide

  • By: lipplaw
    Published: February 22, 2024

Each state has unique wage laws in addition to federal wage laws that can apply to workplaces.

If an employee is primarily working from Virginia, then Virginia state laws apply to that employee and must be followed by employers.

Below are summaries of some important Virginia laws pertaining to employee wages. This is not an exhaustive list, but will give you an overview of many important Virginia wage laws to ensure your workplace is legally compliant.

If you are a Virginia employer and need assistance with Virginia employment law compliance, Lipp Law can help.

If you are a Virginia employee and believe your rights are being violated regarding your wages, contact our firm now.

Minimum Wage in Virginia

The Virginia Minimum Wage Act governs the minimum wage in Virginia, and even covers small employers.

Under the Virginia Minimum Wage Act, from January 1, 2023 to January 1, 2025, the Virginia minimum wage is $12 per hour. Virginia Code Section 40.1-28.10(C).

If a Virginia employer fails to pay their employees at a minimum wage of at least $12 per hour, they can be sued under Virginia law. Virginia employers that violate the Virginia Minimum Wage Act can be responsible for paying fines, paying employees the difference between their earned wages and what they should have legally been paid, interest, and attorneys’ fees

Misclassification Claims against a Virginia Employer – No Retaliation

Virginia employers cannot terminate or otherwise retaliate against an employee or independent contractor for reporting misclassification or participating in a misclassification investigation, hearing or inquiry by an appropriate authority. Virginia Code Section 40.1-33.1.

Virginia employers that violate this Virginia wage law can have a lawsuit or administrative complaint filed against them for lost wages, reinstatement, or both, and other remedies to make the employee whole. Also, employers who violate this law will be penalized in the amount of the lost earnings, including the value of lost benefits.

Paycheck Deductions in Virginia

Employers cannot withhold or make deductions from an employee’s pay, except for tax withholdings or in accordance with law, unless the employer has the employee’s written and signed authorization. Virginia Code Section 40.1-29(C). Courts have interpreted this Virginia paycheck deduction law to require an employee authorization that is close in time and prior to the deduction, and that specifically authorizes the deduction.

Can An Employer Deduct Amounts from an Employee’s Paycheck for Unreturned Employer Property?

Typically not. Usually, an employee will not be able to deduct funds from a terminated employee’s paycheck to pay for unreturned property, unless the employee specifically authorizes the deduction in writing shortly before the deduction occurs. An employee’s blanket deduction authorization in a policy or employment agreement usually will not give the employer legal authority to make a paycheck deduction.

Paystub Requirements in Virginia

Virginia employers, except for employers engaged in agricultural employment such as agribusiness and forestry, must state the following information in writing to each employee on each paystub:

  • Employer name and address
  • Number of hours worked during the pay period, if the employee is paid hourly, or if the employee earns a salary less than the standard salary level adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor under Section 13(a)(1) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which is $684 per week as of the date of this article
  • Pay rate
  • Gross wages earned during the pay period
  • Deduction amounts and purposes

In addition, the paystub must give the employee enough information to determine how the gross and net pay were calculated. Virginia Code Section 40.1-29(C).

Tipped Employees in Virginia

If an employee regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips, they are considered a tipped employee under Virginia wage law, and can be paid at the tipped minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. But, an employee’s tips plus hourly wages must meet $12 per hour, which is Virginia’s minimum wage rate. If the employee’s tips plus the tipped minimum wage of $2.13 per hour does not meet $12 per hour, the employer must pay the difference to get the employee to $12 per hour. Virginia Code Section 40.1-28.9(A).

Wage Information Sharing in Virginia

Virginia employers cannot terminate or otherwise retaliate against an employee for discussing their wage information with other employees. Virginia Code Section 40.1-28.7:9.

These are just some of the wage-related laws that apply to Virginia employers, so if you have employees working in Virginia, or if you are working in Virginia, it is important to have an experienced employment attorney guiding you.

Lipp Law attorneys are experienced with Virginia wage law, and can assist you with their interpretation and application to keep your workplace compliant. Contact Lipp Law today to receive help with Virginia wage law cases.

Kathryn Megan Lipp

Katie dedicates her practice to employment separation guidance.
Based on her successful employment litigation practice...Read More