West Virginia Minimum Wage Laws




Minimum wage

West Virginia’s current minimum wage is $8.75.

If the federal minimum wage is greater than the West Virginia minimum wage, employers must pay the federal minimum wage. WV Code 21-5C-2(a).

West Virginia minimum wage laws do not apply to employers with fewer than six persons employed during a workweek in any one separate, distinct, and permanent location or business establishment. WV Code 21-5C1(e).





Tip minimum wage

West Virginia’s minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.62.

West Virginia minimum wage laws allows employers to pay the tipped minimum wage to employees who customarily receive gratuities. If an employer chooses to pay the tipped minimum wage, it must also ensure that the tipped employees receive the standard minimum wage when tipped wages earned are combined with tips received. If a tipped employee is not paid the standard minimum wage when tipped wages earned are combined with tips received, the employer must pay the employee the difference. The difference between the tipped minimum wage and the standard minimum wage is referred to as a tip credit. WV Code 21-5C-4 Employers cannot require employees to turn over gratuities to them. WV Admin. Code 21-5C-10



Tip pooling and sharing

West Virginia minimum wage laws do not address whether an employer may require employees to participate in tip pooling or tip sharing arrangements.



Subminimum wage

Employees with disabilities

West Virginia minimum wage laws allow employers to pay a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage to employees with physical or mental handicaps so severe that they prevent their employment or employment training in any training or employment facility other than a nonprofit sheltered workshop. West Virginia exempts such employees from its minimum wage requirements. WV Code 21-5C-1(8).



Trainees

West Virginia minimum wage allows employers to pay trainees under the age of 20 a subminimum wage of $5.15 for a cumulative period of not more than 90 days per employee. If an employer has not been in operation for 90 days at the time the trainees were hired, the employer may pay the subminimum wage to trainees for an additional 90 days. If the federal subminimum training wage increase to be greater than the rate set by West Virginia’s minimum wage laws, employers must pay the federal rate. WV Code 21-5C-2(b).



Apprentices

West Virginia minimum wage laws permit employers to pay qualifying apprentices a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage, because West Virginia exempts such apprentices from its minimum wage and overtime requirements. To qualify as an exempt apprentice, the apprentice must participate in on-the-job training that meets the following requirements:

  • teach skills that are customarily learned in a practical way;
  • teach skills that are clearly identified and commonly recognized throughout the industry;
  • teach skills that require related instruction to supplement the work experience; and
  • keep appropriate records concerning the apprentices time and progress.

The on-the-job training plan must also be registered and approved by either West Virginia’s Area Vocational Education Program, the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the US Department of Labor, or West Virginia’s Commissioner of Labor. WV Code 21-5C-1(7); WV Admin. Code 21-5C-8.8



Learners

West Virginia minimum wage laws permit employers to pay qualifying learners a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage, because West Virginia exempts such learners from its minimum wage and overtime requirements. To qualify as an exempt learner, the learner must participate in on-the-job training that meets the following requirements:

  • teach skills that are customarily learned in a practical way;
  • teach skills that are clearly identified and commonly recognized throughout the industry;
  • teach skills that require related instruction to supplement the work experience; and
  • keep appropriate records concerning the apprentices time and progress.

The on-the-job training plan must also be registered and approved by either West Virginia’s Area Vocational Education Program, the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the US Department of Labor, or West Virginia’s Commissioner of Labor. WV Code 21-5C-1(7); WV Admin. Code 21-5C-8.8



Student learners

West Virginia minimum wage laws permit employers to pay qualifying student learners a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage, because West Virginia exempts such student learners from its minimum wage and overtime requirements. To qualify as an exempt student learner, the student learner must participate in on-the-job training that meets the following requirements:

  • teach skills that are customarily learned in a practical way;
  • teach skills that are clearly identified and commonly recognized throughout the industry;
  • teach skills that require related instruction to supplement the work experience; and
  • keep appropriate records concerning the apprentices time and progress.

The on-the-job training plan must also be registered and approved by either West Virginia’s Area Vocational Education Program, the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the US Department of Labor, or West Virginia’s Commissioner of Labor. WV Code 21-5C-1(7); WV Admin. Code 21-5C-8.8



Student workers

West Virginia minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student workers a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage, unless they qualify as a student learner as discussed above.