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Virginia Minimum Wage, Living Wage, and Wage Payment Laws

If work in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you have rights under federal and state law pertaining to how much you are paid, and when your employer pays you. The Erlich Law Office can help you collect unpaid wages.

Minimum Wage

Virginia has a minimum wage law, the Virginia Minimum Wage Act, which adheres to the federal minimum wage, currently set at $7.25 per hour.

The Virginia Minimum Wage Act does not, however, apply to all workers within the Commonwealth. Exceptions to the Virginia Minimum Wage Act include, but are not limited to:

  • Farm workers;
  • Certain types of domestic workers;
  • Newspaper carriers, shoe-shiners, golf course caddies, babysitters, ushers, doorpersons, concession attendants and cashiers in theaters, and persons working for summer camps;
  • Traveling salespersons working on a commission basis;
  • Taxis drivers;
  • All persons younger than 16 and all persons younger than 18 who work for a parent or legal guardian; and
  • Students and apprentices in a bona fide educational or apprenticeship program.

Employers with fewer than four employees at any one time, not counting family members, are exempt from the Virginia Minimum Wage Act. Virginia workers who pursue and win Virginia Minimum Wage Act violations can recover the balance of their wages, plus interest at eight percent per annum. The court may also require the employer to pay the worker’s reasonable attorneys’ fees.

The City of Alexandria’s Living Wage Policy

If you work for a contractor in Alexandria, your employer must pay you a “living wage” pursuant to the city’s Living Wage Ordinance. Construction contracts for more than $50,000.00 that are formally solicited are exempt from this ordinance. In addition, all contractors subject to the Living Wage Ordinance are required to provide quarterly and annual reports of wages paid to the city. Because the living wage is tied to the cost of living, it frequently changes. For an up-to-date calculation of Alexandria’s living wage rate, you can visit http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/51510.

Contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from retaliating against employees for filing complaints or taking any other action under this provision.

Arlington County Living Wage Policy

Contractors and subcontractors performing services under a public services contract over $100,000.00 on property owned or controlled by Arlington County, awarded after a competitive procurement process, must pay their employees a living wage rate. For an up-to-date calculation of Arlington’s living wage rate, you can visit http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/51013.

Wage Payment Laws

For most people, getting paid not only in full but also on time and on a regular basis is an important concern. Fortunately, Virginia law regulates how and when an employee can pay its workers. For example:

  • Virginia law requires employers to establish regular pay periods for workers, with salaried workers paid at least once a month and hourly workers paid at least once every two weeks or twice a month.
  • If a worker quits or is terminated, his or her employer must pay all wages or salary for work performed up until the termination, on or before the next regular payday, or the day the worker would have been paid had employment not been terminated.
  • Wages must be paid in U.S. dollars, by check payable at face value in U.S. dollars, by prepaid debit card, or by direct deposit into an account designated by the worker.

If you win a case against an employer for a violation of the Virginia Wage Payment Act, you will be eligible to obtain the full amount of wages due, plus interest at eight percent per annum and attorneys’ fees up to one-third of the amount of the judgment.

The Erlich Law Office is experienced in minimum wage and wage payment cases under Virginia law and can advise you on such matters. Call us at (703) 791-9087 or visit our website at www.erlichlawoffice.com for a consultation.