Wage and Hour Laws in Vermont | Current Vermont Labor Laws

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Vermont is currently $12.55, with tipped employees earning $6.28. According to state law, the state must review minimum wage laws annually. The total amount of minimum wage must meet specific requirements, such as a 5% increase.

Vermont cannot decrease the minimum wage as of January 1st, 2019. For tipped employees, their pay must meet minimum wage with tips included. If this does not occur, employers must make up the difference.

There are many protections offered to employees in Vermont to ensure they are paid fairly. Employers cannot pay employees a subminimum wage if they fall into the following categories:

  • Employees with disabilities
  • Trainees
  • Apprentices and learners
  • Student learners

Visit our Vermont minimum wage information page to learn more about minimum wage in Vermont.

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Vermont labor laws require an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at the rate of 1½ times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. VT Statute 21-384. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.

Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Vermont may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates.

Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Vermont Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

Meals and Breaks

Under Vermont labor laws, an employer must provide its employees with “reasonable opportunity” to eat and use toilet facilities in order to protect the health and hygiene of the employee. VT Stat. 21-304. Under federal law, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, must be paid.

Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty (30) minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.

Nursing Mother Breaks

Vermont labor laws require employers, unless it would substantially disrupt their operations, to allow employees who are nursing mothers with reasonable time throughout the day to express breast milk for up to three (3) years after the birth of a child. Employers are not required to pay employees for nursing mother breaks. Employers must provide employees with private spaces, other than bathroom stalls, to express breast milk while on nursing mother breaks. Employers may not retaliate or discriminate against employees who take or attempt to take nursing mother breaks as permitted by law. VT Statute 21-305

Vacation Leave

Employers in Vermont aren’t required to offer unpaid or paid vacation benefits to their employees. If employers have private policies, they must abide by the terms agreed to in their employment contracts.

Employers must also pay their employees for accrued vacation if their employment is terminated. That said, many areas still lack legislation about vacation leave in the state. There aren’t any guidelines regarding:

  • If employers can deny employees accrued vacation if their contract doesn’t state specifics
  • If employees must meet specific requirements to qualify for vacation leave
  • If employers can cap the amount of accrued vacation that employees earn

Visit our Vermont vacation leave information page to learn more about vacation leave in Vermont.

Sick Leave

All employers in Vermont must provide earned sick leave benefits to employees. Additionally, if employers have private sick leave terms, they must abide by the policies described in their employment contracts.

Vermont employers could also be required to offer unpaid sick leave benefits regarding the federal and state Family and Medical Leave Acts.

Visit our Vermont sick leave information page to learn more about sick leave in Vermont.

Holiday Leave

Private employers aren’t required to offer employees unpaid or paid holiday leave in Vermont. They can also require their staff to work on holidays at their regular pay rate. However, if an employee’s hours broach into overtime, they must be paid per overtime laws.

In the employment contract, employers must outline additional agreements regarding premium pay rates for holidays. Employers are legally responsible for following the terms described in said agreements.

Visit our Vermont holiday leave information page to learn more about holiday leave in Vermont.

Jury Duty Leave

Employees who spend time on a jury aren’t guaranteed payment from their employer or time off work. However, employers cannot terminate, threaten, or coerce their staff when attending to a jury summons or jury duty.

Additionally, their employers cannot withdraw benefits or seniority due to missing work from serving jury duty.

Visit our Vermont jury duty information page to learn more about jury duty leave in Vermont.

Voting Leave

Currently, there aren’t any laws that outline whether employers must offer to pay for voting leave. Additionally, no regulations specify whether employers must offer time off work for employees to vote.

Employers can implement their voting leave policies, but these must be outlined in a policy or employment contract. If it is in writing, employers must abide by the laws outlined in said agreements.

Visit our Vermont voting leave information page to learn more about voting leave in Vermont.

Severance Pay

Vermont labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


In Vermont, workers can opt to apply for unemployment benefits while searching for a job. There are specific requirements that employees must meet to begin receiving unemployment. These eligibility requirements include:

  • Applicants must have earned a minimum amount in wages before unemployment.
  • Applicants must be unemployed through no fault of their own.
  • Applicants must be willing and able to work while filing for benefits.
  • Applicants must actively seek work while receiving benefits.

Visit Vermont’s unemployment information page to learn more about unemployment benefits in Vermont.