State law allows the Department of Labor and Industry to inspect and investigate, during regular work hours and at other reasonable times, any business establishment or worksite and to question employees there (VA Code Sec. 40.1-8). Failure to admit the Department to the place of business or obstruction of the inspection or investigation is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of $25 to $100, imprisonment for up to 90 days, or both (VA Code Sec. 40.1-10).
Other penalties. Employers that knowingly and intentionally violate provisions of Virginia's labor and employment laws may be fined between $10 and $200 (VA Code Sec. 40.1-28.11). The penalty for making a false statement or providing false information in a relevant document is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both (VA Code Sec. 40.1-51.4:2). Employers that knowingly fail to make payment of wages in accordance with established provisions may be fined up to $1,000 for each violation (VA Code Sec. 40.1-29).
Handling wage claims.Employees with wage payment claims exceeding $2,500 will need to contact a private law firm appointed as special counsel by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (VDOLI), rather than the Department directly with their claims. In the past, employees were able to contact the VDOLI directly, and the Department would investigate the claims and enforce the laws. Employees may no longer bring their wage claims directly to the VDOLI. Employees with claims totaling less than $2,500 must resolve the disputes using their own means.