Virginia’s legislation raising the hourly minimum wage has cleared its final hurdle and is set to 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 Ralph Northam amended the bill to delay the first increase to May 1, 2021 — providing employers an additional four months to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic before allowing the law to take effect. 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.
The 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 (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.