Some Virginia workers will soon get paid more for overtime hours. Here’s who’s impacted

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — If you work overtime you may see a bump in your next paycheck. The new Virginia Overtime Wage Act goes into effect July 1, 2021, and it may catch some employers off guard.

“This one is leaving a lot of folks scratching their head,” said employment attorney Michael Pierce.

Pierce, who works with Vandeventer Black LLP in Norfolk, explained to WAVY.com the new overtime law should not impact minimum wage workers. The biggest change will be for non-exempt salaried workers: that covers those on salary who also earn overtime.

“If you’re working an extra 10 hours that week, then on the low end you may experience, you may see something like maybe $2 more an hour on your overtime rate,” Pierce said.

Or, you could see much more than that. It’s all about the way the state is now requiring companies to calculate a person’s regular rate of pay, which will be different than federal law.

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“The legislature has made a lot of changes in what I personally would characterize as what is intended to be more worker-friendly,” Pierce said.

On the flip side, Pierce points to unintended consequences of the new law that may force “mom and pop” businesses to cut hours or make other changes.

“One possible solution is that those employees that you have been using as salaried but non-exempt you may have to simply convert them from salaried to hourly,” he said.

That may end up saving the employer money in the long run. It would cost the employee that extra overtime cash but Pierce said it would not cost them income.

Until the state gives more guidance he advises it’s best for employers to play it safe.

“Call your local labor and employment attorney and we will walk you through it,” he said.

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