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Overtime Exemptions Added to Virginia Overtime Wage Act

On August 10, 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation (HB 7001) amending the Virginia Overtime Wage Act (VOWA) by incorporating the following Fair Labor Standards Act overtime exemptions into the act:

  • Announcers, news editors, and chief engineers of certain non-metropolitan broadcasting stations;
  • Casual babysitters and persons employed as companions to the elderly or infirm;
  • Certain commissioned employees of retail or service establishments; auto, truck, trailer, farm implement, boat, or aircraft sales-workers; or parts-clerks and mechanics servicing autos, trucks, or farm implements, who are employed by non-manufacturing establishments primarily engaged in selling these items to ultimate purchasers;
  • Domestic service workers living in their employer’s residence;
  • Employees of certain seasonal amusement or recreational establishments, employees of certain small newspapers, seamen employed on foreign vessels, employees in fishing operations, and employees who deliver newspapers;
  • Employees of railroads and air carriers, taxi drivers, certain employees of motor carriers, seamen on American vessels, and local delivery employees paid on approved trip rate plans;
  • Executive, administrative, and professional employees, including outside sales employees, and employees in certain computer-related occupations;
  • Farmworkers employed by anyone who used no more than 500 “man-days” of farm labor in any calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year; and
  • Motion picture theater employees.

Starting July 1, 2021, the VOWA required employers in the state to pay an overtime wage rate of one and one-half times the regular rate for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry released FAQs about VOWA and this amendment.

The amendment took immediate effect; however, it does not apply retroactively for the period of July 1, 2021 through August 9, 2021.

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