Virginia Payroll Laws
Each state has unique laws relating to all aspects of your business, including payroll. As a business owner or manager, it is your duty to operate your company within those regulations. Failure to do so can result in crushing penalties to your business, such as heavy fines.
Our goal is to help your business run smoothly. That’s why we took our nearly 30 years of experience working out of Lynchburg, Virginia and put together this comprehensive guide of Virginia payroll laws that are key to know and understand.
NOTE: While this is a topic that we here at G.E. Payroll have researched deeply, and believe that all statements on this page are accurate, you should consult with a tax counsel before making any decision.
The newest minimum wage law that took effect on May 1st, 2021 comes with the goal of raising the state minimum wage to $15 by 2026.
It started with an increase to $9.50 on May 1st, 2021, and will be followed by an increase to $11.00 on January 1st, 2022 and an increase to $12.00 on January 1st, 2023.
Subsequent increases including one to $13.50 on January 1st, 2025 and another to $15.00 on January 1st, 2026 are both contingent on the General Assembly’s enactment, which must be done by July 1st, 2024.
Noncompetes for Low-Wage Employees
Per § 40.1-28.7:8 of the code of Virginia, you may not require or enforce non-compete agreements on low-wage employees. That also means that all non-competes for low wage workers that were assigned before this law came into place on July 1, 2020, are now unenforceable.
A “low-wage employee” is, typically, an employee or contractor who makes less on average per week than the average weekly wage in Virginia. Visit this page to understand what these rates currently are, as they can fluctuate.
As of July 1, 2020, employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who inquire about, discuss, or disclose compensation information such as wages.
There are exceptions to this, such as those who work in HR that have access to this information and give that information to those without access.
Per a change in the law that took place on January 1, 2020, along with more recent amendments, employers are now required to provide employees with a pay stub each pay period with the following information:
- Name and Address of the Employer
- The Number of Hours the Employee Worked During the Pay Period
- Not Including Those Who are Salaried or Exempt
- The Employee’s Rate of Pay for Those Hours
- Gross Wages That Have Been Earned by the Employee During This Pay Period
- The Amount of Payroll Deductions and What the Reason is For Them
- “Sufficient Information” That the Employee Would Need to Determine How Gross and Net Pay are Calculated
Failure to Pay Wages
The Virginia Wage Payment Act (VWPA) sets the ground rules for what happens when an employer fails to regularly pay an employee, whether knowingly or through neglect.
This seems like something that would rarely come up. As an employer, you most likely believe that you pay all of your workers what they earn. However, it’s more common than you think that misunderstandings will result in a failure to pay wages. Some of these include paying during time spent:
- Preparing to start a shift while at work.
- Working through lunch.
- Driving a company vehicle to a job site.
If the court sides with the employee, they will be awarded at least double what they were owed, plus attorney’s fees, costs, and interest. If it’s proven that the failure to pay was knowingly done, then it can be up to 3x their wages awarded to the employee.
Trust G.E. Payroll to Help Keep You Compliant
These are just some of the many payroll laws that Virginia has in place. Something you may have noticed about these laws and regulations is that they were either put in place or updated very recently.
The government, including local, state, and federal, is constantly creating new laws and amending current ones. With the sheer number of laws and the drastic amount of change that happens with these laws, it may be best to consider getting some help.
By trusting G.E. Payroll Services for full-service payroll help, we keep you compliant. Our team of experts knows the laws regarding payroll and stays updated on them.
The best part, you can try us out for free, all you have to do is request a demo with our online form.