Virginia Labor Statutes
Virginia labor statutes provide employers with rules meant to protect workers. Unfortunately, not all employers comply with the law. This can create a negative work environment, and an employee might not know how to correct these issues. They could also be scared to speak up for fear of retaliation.
If you are concerned your employer is violating your legal rights, you should reach out to an experienced employment attorney for advice. A lawyer from the Spiggle Law Firm could look at the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options. If necessary, we could also serve as your advocate in negotiations.
Lunch Break Requirements
Virginia has no requirement to offer time off for breaks or lunch. However, if a person is under 16, a 30-minute lunch break after working five consecutive hours is required. Although meal and rest breaks are not required, if they do provide them, they may have to follow some rules in doing so.
Short breaks, such as 5-10 minute breaks, are compensated as work time. However, lunches or meal periods, as they are often called, are not work time and therefore do not have to be paid. However, they also have to allow the employee to be completely free of any duties during that time. This means employers cannot expect the employee to do work during that time period.
Time Keeping for Hourly Employees
An hourly employee is paid by the types of hours that they work, so an employer is expected to have some sort of system to ensure that they are paying them accurately, such as a time sheet or time card. It has to be something that the employer can verify, even if they are expecting their employees to be the ones filling it out. If a person is a salaried employee, there is no requirement because salaried employees do not need to use time sheet.
Prohibited Unpaid Actions
Employers are prohibiting from not paying employees for several actions. One example is changing into uniform. If a person worked in some sort of hazardous environment where a person has to change into a uniform, the time period spent changing into that uniform onsite has to count. Even if a person has clocked out and the boss asks them to serve a customer, that time should be compensated.
Preparing for the day or shift, such as opening or closing a restaurant, must be paid for. Even though the business is not operating with customers during that time period, the company is still employing the people who work, and that work has to be compensated as well.
Working off the clock is not legal in Virginia, even if the employee voluntarily consents to work without pay. If the employee has permission to continue to work and they are volunteering to do so, the employer has to pay them for that time.
Paid Vacation Time
In Virginia, employers are not required to provide their employees’ vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If the employer does choose to provide it, the employer must comply with the terms of that policy. This means they must pay for the accrued vacation time upon separation from the employment if the policy states that is something they do.
How Immigration Status Affects Claims
In Virginia, even those who are undocumented are allowed to file claims against their employers for everything from discrimination to unsafe working conditions to wage theft. They should not be in fear of being deported.
While it is illegal to hire undocumented workers in Virginia, if they are hired, they must have access to the same workplace protections that other people have. There are some limitations on some of those things, such as workers’ compensation, but for the most part, they have the same protections as everybody else.
Paychecks After Termination
An employer has to pay an employee when they normally would have been paid if they are terminated. If the employer has a scheme where a person is paid every week, they have to pay them on the date that they would have been paid as if the person was still employed there. Whenever a person’s paycheck would have come in is the day that the employer has to give the person their paycheck after they are terminated.
Discuss Your Employment Law Concerns With an Attorney
If you are concerned your employer may be in violation of Virginia labor statutes, you should not hesitate to reach out to an experienced employment lawyer at the Spiggle Law Firm. We could help you understand your rights and make an informed decision on how to proceed. Use our free case review tool or call today to get started on your case.