VIRGNIA—Workers in Virginia are likely to see an increase in their paychecks soon. The Commonwealth’s state minimum wage is currently $7.25 but will rise to $9.50 on May 1 and will gradually increase to $15 per hour starting on January 1, 2026.
Some exemptions to the increase include:
- Tipped employees, who may be paid a minimum cash wage of $2.13 per hour (employer may utilize a maximum tip credit of $5.12 per hour). According to the legislation, tipped employees are defined as those who regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips.
- Full-time students, who may be paid no less than 85 percent of the minimum wage ($6.16) for up to 20 hours of work per week when school is in session.
- Any other employee who is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Under the new law, employers may pay a “training wage” at 75 percent of the minimum for employees in on-the-job training programs that lasts less than 90 days.
The scheduled minimum hour wage rates expected will be:
- Effective May 1, 2021: $9.50
- Effective January 1, 2022: $11.00
- Effective January 1, 2023: $12.00
- Effective January 1, 2025: $13.50
- Effective January 1, 2026: $15.00
In 2024, the General Assembly of Virginia will need to re-enact, or confirm by legislation, the increase in 2025 and 2026.
Some other mitigating circumstances could also change the plan. The current law allows the Virginia Commissioner of Labor and Industry to stop wage increases if they see negative job growth in the state.
The last time the Virginia minimum wage increased was in 2009 when the federal minimum wage of $7.25 was implemented.
Towns, cities, and counties may have their own minimum wage laws, but municipalities on the Peninsula are all expected to follow the state-wide increase.