June 22, 2022
Laura L. Rubenstein
With high schoolers scrambling for summer employment, we are constantly asked about minimum wage and sub-minimum wages applicable to minors. Below is a quick tutorial.
Employers can pay employees who are under 18 years old a minimum wage of 85% of the current state minimum wage.
D.C.’s minimum wage is $15.20 per hour.
Individuals under the age of 18 years old may be paid the minimum wage established by the United States Government (currently $7.25 per hour according to the Fair Labor Standards Act).
* These changes will only go into effect if the law is “reenacted by a regular or special session of the General Assembly prior to July 1, 2024.”
Virginia’s "Youth Minimum Wage Program" allows workers under the age of 20 to be paid a special minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment with any employer. After the first 90 days have passed (or when the employee turns 20, whichever comes first) the employee must be given a raise to the full minimum wage in effect at the time.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the exceptions. This information does not cover tipped employees, workers of certain summer camps, seasonal amusement parks, drive in theatres, etc. For questions about wages, contact Laura Rubenstein at LRubenstein@RKWlawgroup.com.