Labor and Employment Law
This Web site provides information about the Commonwealth of Virginia's Labor and Employment laws.
The Virginia Labor and Employment Law Division protects important employees rights such as minimum wage. Through our Child Labor Division, we help ensure that young people have the opportunity to work in jobs that do not endanger them or interfere with their education.
The Labor and Employment Law Division investigates complaints alleging violations of labor laws, conducts settlement and informal conferences with employers to settle minimum wage disputes, prepares final orders and assesses civil money penalties against employers to gain compliance, assists in civil or criminal court actions against employers to gain compliance and administers the work permit program for all 14 and 15 year-old minors employed in the Commonwealth.
Labor and Employment Law Division Policy on potential Individual Liability of the owner or one or more corporate officers for unpaid wages became effective on April 6, 2015.
Employment Certificate (Work Permit) Automated Application Process The Department of Labor and Industry announces the launch of an automated, employment certificate process in accordance with the General Assembly changes to §40.1-92 of the Code of Virginia effective July 1, 2013. Children and their parents no longer need to apply for an employment certificate at their school.
Human Trafficking in Virginia - Effective July 1, 2013 section 40.1-11.3 of the Code of Virginia was amended to include truck stops. Click here for more information.
Speakers Bureau - The Labor and Employment Law Division has established a Speakers Bureau that can be a direct source of information and education concerning Virginia’s labor and employment laws. The bureau features speakers from the Division who are available to speak at your business or community event with presentations tailored to your organization’s topics of interest. If you would like to request a speaker please download a Speaker Request Form, select a topic and indicate the date and time for the presentation. Speaker Form
Title 40.1 of the Code of Virginia
Continue to Labor Laws - Page 2
Virginia Payment of Wage Law, § 40.1-29 of the Code of Virginia.
Employers must establish regular pay rates and pay dates, and pay employees all wages, salaries, and commissions on or before the established pay day. Fringe benefits such as vacation, sick, holiday, and severance pay are not required to be given under the law, and employers may establish any or no policy regarding these fringe benefits. Payment must be made in cash, by check, or direct deposit if the employee chooses, and, in limited circumstances, by payroll debit cards. The law prohibits employers from making deductions, other than for taxes or other items required by law such as garnishments, without first securing the employee's written authorization to do so. Even with written permission, employees cannot be required to forfeit their wages for shortages, errors, damages, etc. Employers can be assessed a $1,000 penalty per violation or face criminal charges for intentionally and willfully violating this law.
Virginia Minimum Wage Act, § 40.1-28.8 through 40.1-28.12 of the Code of Virginia.
This law applies to employers who do not meet the coverage requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and who have four or more employees excluding spouse, children, and parents of the employer. The minimum hourly rate is identical to the federal rate. An increase in the federal rate automatically increases the Virginia rate. Effective July 24,2009, the hourly minimum rate was raised to $7.25 per hour.
- With few exceptions, these sections prohibit employment of minors under the age of 14, and require work permits to be issued for all minors under the age of 16.
- Hours of work restrictions are established for minors under 16; employers are required to keep records to verify hours worked and breaks given to minors under 16.
- The law also specifies types of employment that are prohibited or limited for minors under the age of 18.
- No minor under the age of 18 may be employed in a hazardous occupation.
- No minor under the age of 16 may be employed on a construction site, or in a hazardous occupation on a farm, garden, or orchard, or in other hazardous occupations. These hazardous occupations are set forth by regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Labor and Industry.