Virginia lawmakers approve measures for worker protections
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Virginia lawmakers approve measures for worker protections

Virginia lawmakers approved a number of bills on Tuesday, including several aimed at increasing worker protections. Among those is a bill passed by the Virginia House of Delegates proposing that Virginia increase its $7.25 minimum wage to $15 by 2025. It won with 55 votes in support and 45 against.

Virginia has fallen behind many other states by maintaining a minimum wage at the federal standard, and this bill seeks to raise wages steadily following a jump to $10 an hour in July:

[This bill increases] the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour, effective July 1, 2020; to $11 per hour, effective July 1, 2021; to $12 per hour, effective July 1, 2022; to $13 per hour, effective July 1, 2023; to $14 per hour, effective July 1, 2024; and to $15 per hour, effective July 1, 2025, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Virginia Senate approved a similar bill seeking to steadily increase the minimum wage, though by a tighter margin of 21 in support and 19 against.

Virginia’s House also supported a measure on Monday to repeal their prohibition on collective bargaining by public employers and create a Public Employee Relations Board to serve as a bargaining representative: “The measure requires public employers and employee organizations that are exclusive bargaining representatives to meet at reasonable times to negotiate in good faith with respect to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.”

This bill moved to the Senate committee Tuesday.

The final day for Governor Ralph Northam to vote on the approved legislation is April 6.