Virginia

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

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.

Overtime

Virginia has no general provision governing overtime pay, but most employees would be subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires that all work in excess of 40 hours per week be paid at a rate of one-and-one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Breaks

Virginia generally does not require private employers to provide employees rest breaks. Virginia’s day of rest requirements was repealed on July 1, 2005.

 

Breast Feeding Break

Va. Code § 2.2-1147.1 (2002, 2015) guarantees a woman the right to breastfeed her child on in any place where the mother is lawfully present, including any location where she would otherwise be allowed on property that is owned, leased or controlled by the state. The bill also stipulates that childbirth and related medical conditions specified in the Virginia Human Rights Act include activities of lactation, including breastfeeding and expression of milk by a mother for her child.

 

Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-341.1 (2005) provides that a mother who is breastfeeding a child may be exempted from jury duty upon her request.

 

Va. Code § 22.1-79.5. (2014) directs each local school board to adopt a policy to set aside, in each school in the school division, a non-restroom location that is shielded from the public view to be designated as an area in which any mother who is employed by the local school board or enrolled as a student may take breaks of reasonable length during the school day to express milk to feed her child until the child reaches the age of one.

Minimum Wage

Employees covered by Virginia’s minimum wage law must be paid $7.25 an hour.

Tips & Gratuities

Under state law, employers are not required to pay tipped employees any cash wage unless employees demonstrate that their tips do not equal at least the minimum wage.

Meal Breaks

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.

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.
Paid Sick Leave
Requires private employers to give to each full-time employee paid sick days. Paid sick days would accrue at a rate of no less than one hour for every 50 hours worked in 2018 or, if an employer commences operations in 2018 or thereafter, in the employer’s first year of operations. In subsequent years, paid sick days would accrue at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. An employee would be entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the ninetieth calendar day of employment. The bill would require an employer to provide paid sick days, upon the request of the employee, for diagnosis, care, or treatment of health conditions of the employee or the employee’s family member.
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.
Donor Leave

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

Last updated on: February 7th, 2019