In 2021, the Virginia General Assembly enacted the Virginia Overtime Wage Act (VOWA), which expanded and changed Virginia’s overtime pay calculations, procedures for bringing suit, and penalties for offending employers. VOWA caused confusion and concern for many Virginia employers. Fortunately, the bulk of these changes have been reversed by the General Assembly in 2022. With VOWA significantly rolled back, employers need only ensure compliance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on matters related to overtime pay.
However, some of VOWA’s procedural and remedies components remain in place, including the provision that allows employees to bring a private right of action in state court. VOWA also provides additional damages to employees who can prove a violation of the FLSA, including liquidated damages and pre-judgment interest from the date the wages were due. The General Assembly did, however, roll back VOWA’s three-year statute of limitations on overtime claims. Such claims must now be brought within two years, unless a violation was willful, in which case the claims must be brought within three years.
These changes to VOWA went into effect on July 1, 2022 and should provide more clarity to Virginia employers regarding overtime pay going forward.
Luis F. Ruiz