What to Know About Virginia’s Tip Laws

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If you would like to learn more about your rights as an employee that obtains tips, continue reading and reach out to our firm today if you have any questions or concerns. Our skilled Midlothian employment attorney is on your side.


Note that the standard rule of tips under federal law and state law is that they belong to the employee, not the employer. Employers may not require employees to hand over their tips unless one of these exceptions applies:

  • State law allows the employer to take a tip credit. Some states permit the employer to count all or part of an employee’s tips towards its minimum wage responsibilities.
    • Even though the employer is not technically “taking” the employee’s tips, the employer gets to count some tips as if the employer had paid them directly to the employee. Virginia enables employers to take tip credit.
  • The employee is part of a valid tip pool. Under federal law and in applicable states, employees can be required to pay part of their tips into a tip pool to be shared with other employees.

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding Virginia’s laws on tips, do not hesitate to reach out to our legal team. Our firm is on your side.


Minimum wage laws are used to cover all employees, if they receive tips or if they do not. Employees are entitled to obtain the full minimum wage per hour as established by federal or state law. 

It is important to recognize that state laws vary as to whether the employer must pay the full minimum wage itself or may count an employee’s tips toward its minimum wage commitment. According to federal law and in most states, employers may pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage, as long as employees accumulate enough tips to make up the difference. This is known as a “tip credit.” The credit is the amount the employer doesn’t have to pay, so the applicable minimum wage (federal or state) less the tip credit is the least the employer can pay tipped employees per hour.

It is in your best interest to give our firm a call today to discuss tip credits in more detail if you have any hesitations. We look forward to hearing from you.


If you need help with an employment law matter in the state of Virginia, you can count on Passero Employment Law to effectively represent your interests. If you would like to discuss your matter, please contact Passero Employment Law today.

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