Minimum wage bills outcomes

February 21, 2019

Several bills this session sought to make changes to the minimum wage in Virginia. Currently, Virginia’s minimum wage matches the federal rate of $7.25 per hour as established by the Wages and Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA).  Certain exceptions to the federal rate include tipped employees, full-time students, and other certain employees. Bills this session sought to raise the minimum wage, remove exemptions for certain employees, and grant additional authority to localities.

With one exception, these efforts were defeated:

  • SB 1200 (Dance) would incrementally increase the minimum wage from current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour effective July 1, 2021. The first increase would raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour effective July 1, 2019. This was the latest development in a multi-year effort by the bill’s patron to raise the minimum wage. The bill was defeated on a vote of 19-21 in the Senate on January 21.
  • SB 1017 (Marsden) would incrementally increase the minimum wage to $8 per hour effective July 1, 2019 and eventually to $11.25 by the same date in 2022. The bill also provided that wages for tipped employees be no less than 50 percent of the minimum wage. The bill was passed by indefinitely in Senate Commerce and Labor on January 21 on a vote of 9-5.
  • HB 2157 (Plum) would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour effective January 1, 2020.  After January 1, 2022 the wage would be adjusted biennially to match increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The House Commerce and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee #2 voted 5-3 on January 29 to lay the bill on the table, where it was left in committee.
  • HB 1850 (Simon) would incrementally increase the minimum wage to $9 per hour effective July 1, 2021, and eventually to $15 per hour effective January 1, 2023. After which the wage would be adjusted annually to match increases in the (CPI). The House Commerce and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee #2 failed to recommend reporting the bill, 3-5, on January 29, where it was left in committee.
  • HB 2631 (Levine) would establish a procedure in which a locality could impose a local alternative minimum wage if imposed by ordinance from the governing body. The House Commerce and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee #2 failed to recommend reporting the bill, 1-5, on January 22, where it was left in committee.
  • HB 2001 (Aird) would eliminate exemptions to Virginia’s minimum wage requirements for newsboys, shoe-shine boys, babysitters who work 10 hours or more per week, ushers, doormen, concession attendants, and cashiers in theaters. The bill would also require employers to pay attorney fees and for certain infractions. The bill was left in House Commerce and Labor.
  • HB 1757 (Carter) would prohibit an employee who is prohibited by federal or state law from soliciting tips as being classified as a tipped employee. The House Commerce and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee #2 failed to recommend reporting the bill, 2-5, on January 22, where it was left in committee.
  • HB 2195 (Rodman) would incrementally increase the cash wage for tipped employees to $3.50 per hour in 2020 and eventually to $6 per hour in 2022. It would also eliminate the tip credit calculation aspect of wages effective January 1, 2023. The House Commerce and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee #2 failed to report the bill, 3-5, on January 22, where it was left in committee.
  • SB 1103 (Howell) would remove the exemption from the minimum wage of any person who works and is compensated on the amount of work completed. The bill was defeated in Senate Commerce and Labor on a vote of 6-7 on January 14.
  • HB 2473 (Price) / SB 1079 (Spruill) eliminates exemptions to Virginia’s minimum wage requirements for newsboys, shoe-shine boys, babysitters who work 10 hours or more per week, ushers, doormen, concession attendants, and cashiers in theaters. The bills have both passed the House and Senate and will be headed to the Governor.

VACo Contact: Jeremy Bennett

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