Commentary

New Minimum Wage Requirements

Virginia will be raising the hourly minimum wage. Absent an unexpected and unlikely change, the new law will take effect on May 1, 2021.

As originally passed by the General Assembly, the minimum wage law was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2021. However, Governor Northam amended the bill to delay the first increase to May 1, 2021. This provided employers an additional four months to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The General Assembly approved Governor Northam’s amended version of the legislation on April 22, 2020.

The hourly minimum wage in Virginia will increase to $9.50 beginning May 1, 2021, to $11.00 on January 1, 2022, and to $12.00 on January 1, 2023. Increases to $13.50 on January 1, 2025 and $15.00 on January 1, 2026 will be contingent on the General Assembly’s enactment by July 1, 2024.

The new law also directs three state agencies to conduct a joint review of the feasibility of implementing a regional minimum wage structure in the Commonwealth. The agencies must submit their findings to the General Assembly and the Governor by December 1, 2023.

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