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Last updated on: January 8th, 2024

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

There are no laws governing how many hours or days a week Virginia employees are allowed to work. Employers and employees must abide by federal guidelines.


According to FLSA, an employee shall not work more than 40 hours per week (exclusive overtime).


The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours comprised of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that do not need to coincide with the calendar week. It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent. Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged.


Any work performed beyond 40 hours in a work week is considered overtime work.


Pay– An employee is entitled to premium pay at the rate of 1.5 times their regular rate for all hours worked excess in a workweek.


Rate of Calculation – The Virginia law specifies exactly how that regular rate and overtime rate are to be calculated for hourly and salaried non-exempt workers, effectively eliminating certain payment arrangements available under the FLSA.


The Virginia Overtime Act shall change how employers should calculate a non-exempt employee’s regular rate of pay if that employee is paid on a salary basis. If the employee is paid on an hourly basis, the Virginia Overtime Act adopts the FLSA calculation,


But if an employee is paid on a salary basis it would include wages, commissions, and non-discretionary bonuses, and the regular rate will simply be calculated by dividing the amount of compensation received that week by 40 hours – regardless of how many hours the employee actually worked that week.


There are no general provisions regarding meal and rest breaks. Minor employees under age 16, including minors employed in agriculture, must be allowed a 30-minute meal period for every five hours of continuous work. No period of fewer than 30 minutes is considered an interruption in a continuous period of work.


Breast Feeding Break – A female employee is entitled to lactation, including breastfeeding and the expression of milk by a mother for their child. A female employee has the right to breastfeed their child in any place where the mother is lawfully present, including any location where they would otherwise be allowed on property that is owned, leased, or controlled by the state. Go. Code § 2.2-1147.1 (2002, 2015), Va. CodeE Ann. § 8.01-341.1 (2005), Va. Code § 22.1-79.5. (2014).

Local Information

Virginia does not require employers to provide paid or unpaid vacation to employees. Accordingly, the entitlement to such leave is controlled by contract.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Voting Leave
Any person who serves as an officer of the election shall neither be discharged from employment, nor have any adverse personnel action taken against him, nor shall he be required to use sick leave or vacation time, as a result of his absence from employment due to such service, provided he gave reasonable notice to his employer of such service. No person who serves for four or more hours, including travel time, on his day of service shall be required to start any work shift that begins on or after 5:00 p.m. on the day of his service or begins before 3:00 a.m. on the day following the day of his service.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer cannot discharge or take adverse employment action against an employee who is absent from work if he or she is summoned for jury duty, subpoenaed to appear in court or required in writing to appear at any future hearing. Employers also cannot require the employee to use sick or vacation time because of missing work for any of these reasons. Additionally, an employee who appears for jury duty for four or more hours in one day (including travel time) may not be required to start any scheduled work shift that begins:
      • On or after 5 p.m. on the day of the jury duty; or
      • Before 3 a.m. on the day following the jury duty.
Military Leave

In addition to USERRA, Virginia law provides rights and benefits to members of the Virginia National Guard, the Virginia Defense Force or the Naval Militia who serve state active duty or military duty. These military service members are entitled to unpaid leave if they are called to state or military active duty. Employers may not require the use of any type of accrued paid leave during a period of active service. However, an employee forfeits reemployment rights when the cumulative length of leave for military duty exceeds five years. An employer may not discriminate against any employee for his or her connection or membership with these organizations.

Victim and Witness Leave

Employers must allow crime victims unpaid leave in order to attend criminal proceedings. An employee must provide notice to the employer with a copy of the form provided to the employee by law enforcement, and any notice of each scheduled criminal proceeding. A criminal proceeding is a proceeding at which the victim has the right or opportunity to appear, involving a crime against the victim, including:

      • The initial appearance of the person suspected of committing the crime against the victim; or
      • Any proceeding in which the court considers the post-arrest release of the person accused of a crime against the victim or the conditions of that release; or
      • Any proceeding in which a negotiated plea for the person accused of the crime against the victim will be presented to the court; or
      • Any sentencing proceeding; or
      • Any proceeding in which post-conviction release from confinement is considered; or
      • Any probation revocation disposition proceeding or any proceeding in which the court is requested to terminate the probation of a person convicted of a crime against the victim; or
      • Any proceeding where the court is requested to modify the terms of probation or intensive probation of a person, if the modification will substantially affect the person’s contact with, or the safety of, the victim, or if the modification involves restitution or incarceration status. Employers cannot dismiss, refuse to hire, discriminate or apply any adverse employment action against victims who leave work to attend criminal proceedings. Employers may only limit victim and witness leave if the leave creates an undue hardship for the employer.
Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave

Eligible employees in Virginia shall have the right to take unpaid leave for organ and bone marrow donation.  Employees who qualify must have been employed by their current employer for a minimum of 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours within the preceding 12 months.


Employees who meet the eligibility criteria shall be entitled to a maximum of 60 working days of unpaid leave within any 12-month period for serving as organ donors. Furthermore, employees who chose to donate their bone marrow shall be entitled to up to  30 working days of unpaid leave within any 12-month period.

It’s important to note that organ donor leave cannot be taken concurrently with leave granted under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.


The eligible employee is required to provide written physician verification to the employer that – 

  • the eligible employee is an organ donor or a bone marrow donor and 
  • there is a medical necessity for the donation of the organ or bone marrow.

Va. Code § 40.1-33.8.

Donor Leave

Full-time state employees are allowed up to 30 days of paid leave for organ. (§ 2.2-2821.1).

Disclaimer: The material provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. We endeavor to keep all material up-to-date and correct but make no representations about the information's completeness, accuracy, or reliability. Laws vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change and interpretation based on individual factors that may differ between organizations. The material is not meant to constitute legal advice and we suggest you seek the advice of legal counsel in connection with any of the information presented.