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Payment of Wages: Virginia

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Marc Smith, Smith, Lease & Goldstein, LLC


  • Employers in Virginia may pay employees in cash, by check, or by direct deposit or electronic paycard subject to certain requirements. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • All Virginia employers are required to establish regular pay periods and rates of pay for all employees, except for employees classified as exempt executives. Different pay frequencies apply to salaried and hourly employees, with certain exceptions. See Pay Frequency.
  • Deductions from wages are prohibited without employees' written authorization. Under the RetirePath Virginia Retirement Savings Program, covered employers are required to facilitate optional employee contributions, through payroll deductions, to individual retirement accounts run by the state. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • All Virginia employers, other than those engaged in agricultural employment (i.e., agribusiness and forestry), are required to provide each employee with a written statement, by paystub or online accounting, that shows certain pay period information. Agricultural employers must provide employees with written pay statements upon request. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • Terminated employees must be paid all wages due by their regular payday. See Final Pay.
  • Virginia employers are subject to serious civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply with the wage payment laws. See Penalties.
  • Virginia's general estates law may apply to an employer who owes wages or other property to a deceased employee. See Deceased Employee Wages.
  • Employers holding wages that are unclaimed by an employee for one year are required to attempt to locate and notify the employee, and then file a report and remit the wages to the state by a certain date if the employee still does not claim them or cannot be located. Serious penalties are imposed for employer noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.