"A fair day's wage for a fair day's work: it is as just a demand as governed men ever made of governing. It is the everlasting right of man." Thomas Carlyle, Scottish Author and Philosopher

"If a man or a woman puts in an honest day's work, they should be able to earn a living wage." Richard J. Codey, Politician

"It is but equity...that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

"Wages are determined by the bitter struggle between capitalist and worker." Karl Marx, German political and economic philosopher

Virginia Wage Laws

“Honest Wages for an Honest Day’s Work!”


The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or Act) requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage (i.e., $7.25/hour) for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, except for those employer’s employees exempted under the Act.

Additionally, most states have their own minimum wage laws and rates. A few states in the southern part of the United States have no minimum wage rate. In either case, non-exempted employees are entitled to receive the greater of the federal or state minimum wage rate. Thus, in those states with no minimum wage requirement, covered employees are entitled to receive the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25/hour.

I. State Minimum Wage: $7.25/Hour

State law provides that, generally, employers must pay their employees a minimum wage rate of $7.25/hour for each hour worked or an amount no less than the federal minimum wage or the FLSA‘s training wage.

Coverage: The state’s minimum wage provision does not apply to the following workers, who are excluded from the definition of “employee”:

  • farm laborers and farm employees;
  • workers employed in domestic service, or in or about a private home, or in a charitable institution primarily supported by public funds;
  • workers for educational, charitable, religious or nonprofit organizations where no employment relationship exists or where services are rendered on a voluntary basis;
  • “newsboys,” “shoe-shine boys,” golf course caddies, babysitters, ushers, doormen, concession attendants and cashiers in theaters;
  • traveling salespeople or outside salespeople work­ing on a commission basis;
  • taxi drivers and operators;
  • workers under age 18 employed by a parent or legal guardian;
  • inmates of state or local penal, corrective or mental institutions;
  • workers at boys’ or girls summer camps;
  • workers under age 16;
  • any worker “who normally works and is paid based on the amount of work done”;
  • workers whose employment is covered by the federal FLSA;
  • certain disabled workers;
  • students and apprentices participating in bona fide educational or apprenticeship programs;
  • workers for employers who do not have four or more people employed at any one time (excluding certain close family members);
  • certain full-time students under age 18 working not more than 20 hours a week;
  • certain full-lime students of any age participating in work-study programs at the school where they are enrolled; and
  • people under age 18 who are “under the jurisdiction and direction of a juvenile and domestic relations district court”

Tipped employees: The amount paid to a “tipped employ­ee” is considered to be “increased on account of tips by an amount determined by the employer,” except where an employee establishes by “clear and convincing evidence” that the actual amount of tips he or she received was less than the amount the employer claimed, in which case the amount paid the tipped employee will be deemed increased by the lesser amount.

Board and lodging: Wages may include the “reasonable cost” to the employer of furnishing meals and lodging to an employee, if those items are “customarily furnished by the employer, and used by the employee”.

Overtime Pay

The FLSA generally requires that non-exempt employees working more than 40 hours a week be compen­sated at a rate of one-and-a half times their regular rate of pay for any time exceeding 40 hours in the workweek. An employer is not allowed to average an employee’s work hours during a workweek over a two or more week period. Overtime payments need not be made to exempt or non-covered workers; only to non-exempt, covered employees.

Employer and Employees cannot agree to waive overtime Pay. The FLSA overtime requirement may not be waived by agreement between the employer and an employee. Anytime, an employer requires or permits an employee to work overtime, they are than generally required to pay the employee additional pay for overtime work. Also, an announcement by your employer that no overtime work will be permitted, or that overtime work will not be paid for unless authorized in advance, will generally also not prevent your employer from owing you overtime pay if your employer had knowledge of you working overtime.

II. State Employer Exemptions: Executive, Administrative and Professional

  • Overtime: None
  • Minimum wage: None

However, employer exemption exist and are available to some employers under the federal wage law (See “Employer Exemptions” located on the homepage under the “Employee Resource Center”).

III. Meal Break Requirements

Eligibility: Any child working a shift of more than five hours is eligible for a meal break.

Duration: Meal breaks must be at least 30 minutes.

IV. Rest Break Requirements

  • None

V. State Contact Information

Department of Labor and Industry

Powers-Taylor Building

13 S. Thirteenth St.

Richmond, VA 23219-4101

Phone: (804)371-2327

Fax: (804)371-6524

E-mail: laborlaw@doli.virginia.gov

Web site: http://www.dli.state.va.us/

Wage & Hour Division

Richmond District Office

US Dept. of Labor

ESA Wage & Hour Division

400 N. 8th Street, Room 416

P.O. Box 10005

Richmond, VA 23240

Phone: 1-866-4-USWAGE

Northern Va. office:

  • Contact office in Baltimore, Md.

Southwestern Va. office:

  • Contact office in Charles­ton, W.V.

Are you covered by the federal wage Law?

For starters, to determine if you maybe covered by the Fair Labor Standard Act, you are encouraged to take the three minute "Step 1: Wage Law Test" found on the upper right-hand side of this webpage.

Does your employer owe you wages?

To determine if your employer may owe you wages under the Fair Labor Standard Act, take the two minute "Step 2: Wage Owed Test" found on the upper right-hand side of this webpage.

Do you believe you have a wage and hour claim?

If you believe that your existing or former employer may have violated your legal rights as an employee by failing to pay you "honest wages for an honest day's work" please feel free to contact the law firm of JonesSatreWeimer for a free consultation (Need a lawyer?).