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Virginia Wage and Hour Laws

Virginia Wage and Hour Laws

In Virginia, federal and state laws govern pay day laws including wage and hour requirements. The major federal law governing wages and hours is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The major state laws governing pay day requirements is known as the Virginia Minimum Wage Act. It regulates how much workers must be paid, how many hours they can be required to work, and the special rules that apply to younger workers.

Here, we will focus on Virginia wage and hour laws, including pay day requirements (frequency and manner), minimum wage, and overtime pay.

Pay Day Requirements: How Often?

Virginia employers must pay their hourly employees every two weeks (or more frequently), depending on the terms of the employment contact.

Method of Payment

An employer may pay wages by cash, check, or direct deposit, so long as the employee consents.

What is the Minimum Wage in Virginia?

The minimum wage for employees in Virginia is $7.25 per hour.

When is an Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?

Virginia's minimum wage is tied to the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25. However, there are numerous exceptions to the state's minimum wage law. As a result of these exceptions, very few employees in Virginia are covered by the state minimum wage; the federal minimum wage law is more widely applicable in the state.

Is there a Penalty for Failing to Follow Wage and Hour Laws?

Yes. Failure to pay the legal minimum wage and other violations may result in payment of back wages and civil or criminal action where warranted. Click here to file a claim or make a report.

See Fair Wages FAQ, Exempt Employees, and Employees Rights 101 the for more information.

Code Sections

Virginia Minimum Wage Act (PDF), §40.1-28.8 through 40.1-28.12

Pay Day Requirements

Employees must be paid at least bi-weekly or twice per month. Salaried employees may be paid at least once per month.

Method of Payment

Cash, Check and Direct Deposit or Payroll Debit Card.

Minimum Wage

Hourly Employees $7.25 per hour

Tipped Employees: Employers can 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.

Overtime Pay

No state overtime pay laws, although you may be eligible for overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Workers Not Covered Under State Minimum Wage Law

Note: Workers not covered under Virginia's minimum wage law may still be entitled to protection under federal law.

  • Farm laborers and employees
  • Employees in domestic service in or about a private home or in a charitable institution primarily supported by public funds
  • Volunteers for educational, charitable, religious, or nonprofit organizations
  • Newspaper delivery persons
  • Shoe-shine persons
  • Golf course caddies
  • Babysitters
  • Ushers/ Doorpersons
  • Concession attendants
  • Cashiers in theaters
  • Traveling salespersons or outside salespersons working on a commission basis
  • Taxicab drivers and operators
  • Employees under 18 employed by their mothers, fathers, or legal guardians
  • Summer camp employees
  • Employees under the age of 16
  • Employees paid based on the amount of work they do
  • Employees who are 65 or older
  • Employees whose earning capacity is impaired by physical or mental disability
  • Students and apprentices in bona fide educational or apprenticeship programs
  • Employees of employers who do not have at least four persons employed at any one time (immediate family members of employer do not count as employed for this purpose)
  • Employees under 18 enrolled full-time in a secondary school, institution of higher education, or trade school, provided they are not working more than 20 hours per week
  • Employees of any age enrolled full-time at a secondary school, institution or higher education, or trade school and who are in a work-study program at the place where they are enrolled.

Virginia Department of Labor and Industry

Meal Breaks

No, unless the employee is under the age of 16, or company policy dictates break and lunch periods for anyone over the age of 16.


Employers can be assessed a $1,000 penalty per violation or face criminal charges for intentionally and willfully violating this law.

State employment laws are constantly changing. Please consider contacting a local employment law attorney who can help you better understand current Virginia laws.

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