In Vermont, there are certain laws and guidelines that regulate how much time employees can spend working and what they should receive as payment for their work. These laws cover a variety of topics, including minimum wage and what employers have to pay for meals, breaks and tips. Employers should be aware of what these laws are to ensure they do not inadvertently break them.
Minimum Wage in Vermont
In Vermont, the minimum wage is $9.15. This amount is higher than the federally-mandated minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees receive the higher of these two minimum wages.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: Workers who receive tips as part of their regular wage in Vermont are to receive a basic wage of $4.10 for every hour worked. This is in compliance with federal law, which mandates that tipped workers are to receive at least $2.13 for every hour worked. Regardless of what the minimum hourly wage is for tipped workers, these workers’ total earnings must equal at least $7.25 per hour.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: In Vermont, all employers with two or more employees must abide by minimum wage rules. This holds true unless an employee is specifically exempt under 21 V21 V.S.A. §383(2). Examples of employees exempt under this legislation include outside salesmen, taxi cab drivers, agricultural workers, full-time high school students and newspaper delivery people.
When Are Raises Required: Under Vermont’s wage and hour laws, raises are not covered. For this reason, whether or not employers are required to provide their employees raises depends on an existing agreement that might account for factors such as the quality of work performed and overall productivity.
Work Hours in Vermont
Employees in Vermont are only permitted to work 40 hours in any given week. If employees are required to work over this number of hours, their employer is required to pay them overtime.
Paying Overtime: Employers who require their employees to work more than 40 hours in a week must pay their employees 1.5 times the regular wage rate they receive for hours worked during the course of a regular work week. Employees who are exempt from this overtime requirement include those who hold positions at retail or service establishments, hotels or restaurants, state and political subdivisions and certain recreational establishments.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: Employers in Vermont are required to provide their employees with the “reasonable” opportunity to use the restroom and to eat during the course of their workday. Additionally, nursing mothers must be given adequate time and privacy to express breast milk under Vermont law.
Paid Time-Off and Sick Pay: In Vermont, employers are not required to provide their employees with paid or unpaid holidays, paid or unpaid sick leave, or paid or unpaid vacation time. However, employers who outline stipulations for vacation and sick time in a written agreement are required to provide their employees with these benefits according to the terms of the agreement.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: Vermont is an “at will” state. This means employers have the right to terminate employees for any reason. However, they are not allowed to terminate employees on the basis of sex, age, mental or physical disability, race, color or national origin.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: The state of Vermont has no particular employment laws relating to plant closings and layoffs. However, under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), employers are required to give their employees 60 days of notice in the event of a plant closing or a covered mass layoff. Notice can either be given to the workers affected by the closing or layoff, or their representatives.
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