What Is the Minimum Wage in Virginia State?

Ben Steele  | 

2019 Hourly Minimum Wage in Virginia: $7.25 Per Hour

The minimum wage in Virginia is the same as the federal minimum wage, and has been set at this rate since 2008. Virginia defers to the federal employment standards and generally does not modify them in state legislation.

Tipped Minimum Wage: $2.13 Per Hour

This is based on a maximum tip credit of $5.12 and the federal minimum wage. Employers can deduct up to that amount from a tipped employee’s wage, resulting in an actual minimum wage of $2.13, which, when combined with the tip credit, reaches the $7.25 mark.

Weekly Minimum Wage: $290 Per 40 Hour Week

This how much a person in Virginia working full time should earn in a single week (40 hours multiplied by 7.25 per hour). This does not take into account deductions or taxes, so the “real” take-home amount may be smaller.

Annual Minimum Wage: $15,080

The annual minimum wage expresses minimum wages as calculated at 52 weeks x 40 hours x minimum wage. This doesn’t take into account deductions, taxes, sick time, overtime, or other variables that could make this number lower or higher. It’s a useful baseline for salaried employees, whose pay is calculated in an annual sum, rather than per hour.

Overtime Minimum Wage: $10.88 Per Hour After 40 Hours in One Week

The overtime minimum wage is based on 1.5 times the state minimum wage. Virginia uses a weekly, but not a daily overtime limit. So workers aren’t entitled to overtime for working more than a certain number of hours per day as long as they work no more than 40 hours in a week. In some states, overtime hours apply on a daily basis as well.

Virginia Minimum Wage Exemptions

The following are situations in which employees may make less than the minimum wage, based on applicable federal exemption legislation.

Under Age of 20 Minimum Wage: $4.25

Virginia follows the federal guidelines for workers under the age of 20. The $4.25 per hour wage applies only during the first 90 days of employment, after which the regular minimum wage of $7.25 applies. If the worker reaches the age of 20 before the 90 days are up, they must be paid the regular minimum wage of $7.25 starting on their birthday.

Student Minimum Wage: $6.16

Full time high school or college students, working part time (20 hours per week or less), can be paid less than the federal minimum wage as according to federal legislation. This number is based on the federal requirement of 85% of base minimum wage. Companies must apply for a certification in order to use this wage standard.

Right to Work State

Virginia has right to work laws, which prevent unions and employers from entering into contracts which require employees to pay dues for union representation. An attempt was made to overturn these laws in 2016, which failed.

Virginia Minimum Wage Increase News

In January of 2019 a bill to raise Virginia’s minimum wage to $10 per hour was voted down in the state senate. The bill would have seen the wage increase from $10 per hour to $13 per hour in 2020, before reaching a $15 per hour peak in 2021. The vote that struck down the bill was along party lines.

There are not currently any new bills to raise the minimum wage set to appear before Virginia state legislators.

Non-profit and religious groups in some areas of Virginia are working on a certification program that would recognize employers who pay their employees a “living wage” — which they define as approximately twice the federal minimum. Living wage calculations often vary, and there is no set idea of an exact “living wage.” This is because these numbers take into account cost of living not just state by state, but city by city; variables including rent, food prices, and other expenses averaged across an area. According to a calculator by MIT, a living wage for one adult with no dependants in Richmond, Virginia, is $13.23 per hour.

Some companies, like Amazon, pay a $15 per hour wage, which includes employees in Virginia.

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Ben Steele is a writer, theatre(re) professional, and nonprofit administrator. He was born in England, spent his teen and early 20s in Canada, and now lives in America. Please excuse his occasionally confused voice and the odd recalcitrant u after an o.

This post was updated June 5, 2019. It was originally published March 13, 2019.