For business owners, managers, and employees, it is important to know what you are legally obligated to pay your employees or be paid yourself. Most states in the US have different laws, rules, and regulations when it comes to the minimum wage. Let’s look at the minimum wage in Virginia.

Virginia, like many other states, has the same minimum wage as the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. This minimum wage hasn’t changed since 2009 when the federal minimum wage last increased. However, Virginia’s legislation raising the hourly minimum wage cleared its final hurdle and took effect on May 1st, 2021, raising it to $9.50 per hour, a notable 31% increase from the current $7.25 per hour!

What does this mean for the minimum wage in Virginia? Well, the initial law was scheduled to go into effect on January 1st, 2021 but the bill was amended by Governor Ralph Northam to push the increase date out to May 1st, 2021. The goal was to provide employers with the opportunity to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, effectively giving them four additional months. The General Assembly approved Governor Northam’s amended version of the legislation on April 22nd, 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. The increase 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.

Hold On!

If you would like to see the history of the Virginia minimum wage over the years, we have created a bar graph showing you the minimum wage each year and also a convenient PDF you can download. It is located at the bottom of this page.

The new law also directs three state agencies (including the Virginia Employment Commission) 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 Governor by December 1, 2023.

Did the Virginia Minimum Wage Go Up?

The graphic below highlights the Virginia minimum wage over the past several years. The minimum wage did go up in 2021 from $7.25 per hour (in 2020) to $9.50 in 2021.

Minimum wage in Virginia

The first steps to achieve this minimum wage goal will see the minimum wage in Virginia increase from the federal wage of $7.25 to $9.50 per hour. Here are the projected minimum wages for each year Virginia’s minimum wage is set to increase.

Virginia Minimum Wage Increases

  • May 1st, 2021 – $9.50 per hour
  • January 1st, 2022 – $11.00 per hour
  • January 1st, 2023 – $12.00 per hour
  • January 1st, 2025 – $13.50 per hour (contingent)
  • January 1st, 2026 – $15.00 per hour (contingent)

The increase will apply to those whose employment is covered by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) and to public employees.

If you would have any questions or concerns regarding the minimum wage in Virginia, visit the Department of Labor website. The Labor and Employment Law Division administers and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth that govern pay, assignment of wages, minimum wages, employment of children, the right to work, the human trafficking poster requirements, and certain other statutes that relate to the workplace. You can also check back on this page often as this content will be constantly updated, giving you the most up-to-date minimum wage in Virginia.

Virginia Minimum Wage 2020

There has been no increase in the Virginia minimum wage since 2009. It has stayed the same as the Federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. The Virginia minimum wage in 2020, however, is set to increase – finally! Effective May 1st, 2021, the Virginia minimum wage will increase to $9.75 per hour!

Most other states’ minimum wage varies due to different employment situations, the same applies to the Virginia minimum wage in 2020.

  • Tipped employees must be paid a cash minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, then tipped an effective hourly rate of $7.62 per hour, equalling the Virginia minimum wage 2020 of $9.75 per hour.
  • Students in full-time education must be paid no less than 85% of the Virginia minimum wage ($6.16) for 20 hours of work a week or less during the school terms.

Virginia Minimum Wage History

The table below provides the history of Virginia’s minimum wage over the years since 1983. You can see when there were increases in the minimum wage, how much they were, and what percentage increase it represents.

StateWageYear$ Wage Increase% Increase
Virginia Minimum Wage 2021$9.502021$2.2531%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2020$7.252020$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2019$7.252019$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2018$7.252018$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2017$7.252017$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2016$7.252016$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2015$7.252015$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2014$7.252014$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2013$7.252013$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2012$7.252012$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2011$7.252011$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2010$7.252010$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2009$7.252009$0.7010.6%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2008$6.552008$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2007$5.852007$0.7013.59%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2006$5.152006$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2005$5.152005$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2004$5.152004$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2003$5.152003$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2002$5.152002$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2001$5.152001$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 2000$5.152000$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1999$5.151999$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1998$5.151998$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1997$5.151997$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1996$4.751996$0.508.42%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1995$4.251995$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1994$4.251994$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1993$4.251993$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1992$4.251992$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1991$3.651991$137.73%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1990$2.651990$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1989$2.651989$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1988$2.651988$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1987$2.651987$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1986$2.651986$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1985$2.651985$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1984$2.651984$00%
Virginia Minimum Wage 1983$2.651983$00%

Virginia minimum wage history for more than 10 years – downloadable PDF below

Virginia minimum wage history

Virginia Minimum Wage History – Downloadable PDF

Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Contact Information

Main Street Centre
600 East Main Street, Suite 207
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Phone: (804) 371-2327
Fax: (804) 371-6524