Vermont Labor Law Guide


In this comprehensive exploration of Vermont labor laws, we cover essential topics like minimum wage guidelines, overtime regulations, mandatory rest breaks and other key employment provisions specific to the Green Mountain State.

Key Takeaways

  • As of January 1, 2024, Vermont’s minimum wage is $13.67 per hour, marking a $0.49 increase from the previous rate of $13.18 in 2023.
  • Vermont’s overtime laws require employers with two or more employees to compensate covered employees at a rate of at least 1.5 times their regular wage when they work over 40 hours in a workweek.
  • Vermont does not mandate overtime pay for working over eight hours in a day or for work on weekends or holidays.
  • Vermont labor laws stipulate that employees working for more than six hours continuously must receive a 30-minute unpaid meal break.
  • Additionally, employers must provide all employees with a 10-minute hourly paid rest break for every four hours worked.

Minimum Wage Regulations in Vermont

As of January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Vermont is $13.67 per hour. This is a notable increase of $0.49 from the prior minimum wage of $13.18 in 2023.

[Source: FRED]
This map is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the map to see detailed data.

There was even a legislative proposal introduced in the state Senate in January 2021 to increase the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 per hour by the year 2025. However, this proposal did not progress beyond the committee stage.

Tipped Minimum Wage

In Vermont, the tipped minimum wage is an integral part of the state’s minimum wage regulations. Tipped employees saw their wages go up from $6.59 in 2023 to $6.84 per hour in 2024. Tipped employees in Vermont are guaranteed a minimum of 50% of the regular minimum wage.

This practice is in line with the state’s commitment to ensuring fair compensation for workers, including those in the service industry, such as restaurant servers and bartenders, who often rely on tips as a substantial part of their income.


Exceptions to Minimum Wage Requirements

In Vermont, the exceptions to minimal wage laws closely align with federal regulations but also include some unique professions.

Here’s a list of the occupations that fall under these exemptions:

  • Executive, administrative and professional employees who are paid at a rate not less than the state minimum wage
  • Highly compensated employees earning more than $500,000 in gross annual incomes
  • Employees working in the agricultural sector
  • Domestic service or private home employees
  • Government-employed workers
  • Non-profit organization employees
  • Newspaper delivering or marketing employees
  • Taxi drivers
  • Outside salespersons

Subminimum Wage

In Vermont, the subminimum wage applies to specific groups of workers. These include:

  • Student-learners
  • Full-time students working in retail
  • Agriculture
  • Service establishments
  • Individuals with impaired productive capacity, such as those who are physically or mentally disabled

The subminimum wage is set at $4.25 per hour, which is 60% of the federal minimum wage.

The subminimum wage is set at $4.25 per hour

When discussing wages, it’s important to keep in mind the taxes for complete financial clarity. Our Vermont Paycheck Calculator gives you an estimate of your earnings after accounting for taxes and deductions, in adherence to your state’s tax laws.

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Your estimated take home pay:
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Disclaimer: Please note that this paycheck calculator is designed to provide an estimate and should not be considered as professional tax advice. The actual withholding amounts and taxes owed may vary depending on individual circumstances and other factors. For accurate and personalized tax advice, we recommend consulting with a tax professional.

If your gross pay is 0 per - in the state of F, your net pay (or take home pay) will be $1,343.17 after tax deductions of 0% (or $ 156.83). Deductions include a total of [1] 0% (or $0.00) for the federal income tax, [2] 0% (or $0.00) for the state income tax, [3] 6.20% (or $0.00) for the social security tax and [4] 1.45% (or $0.00) for Medicare.

The Federal Income Tax is collected by the government and is consistent across all U.S. regions. In contrast, the State Income Tax is levied by the state of residence and work, leading to substantial variations. The Social Security Tax is used to fund Social Security, which benefits retirees, persons with disabilities and survivors of deceased workers. Medicare involves a federal payroll tax designated for the Medicare insurance program. As of 2022, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming do not levy a state income tax.

Overtime Rules and Regulations in Vermont

In Vermont, employers with two or more employees are subject to the state’s overtime compensation law.

Under Vermont law, when a covered employee works over 40 hours during a workweek, their employer is required to compensate them at a rate of at least 1.5 times their regular wage rate.

Under Vermont law, when a covered employee works over 40 hours during a workweek, their employer is required to compensate them at a rate of at least 1.5 times their regular wage rate.

While Vermont mandates overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek, it does not require overtime pay for working more than eight hours in a day or for work on weekends or holidays.

Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions

Federal overtime rules, governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), don’t apply to all employees.

Common exemptions include:

  • Computer workers: Those in computer-related jobs may be exempt if they meet specific criteria.
  • Executives: Managers who regularly oversee at least two full-time employees may be exempt.
  • Administrators: Employees in administrative roles with discretion and independent judgment may qualify for an exemption.
  • Agricultural workers: Many agricultural workers may be exempt, but there are limitations.
  • Commissioned salespeople: Sales employees paid by the commission may be exempt if they meet certain conditions.
  • Learned professionals: Professionals like CPAs and lawyers may qualify for exemptions based on their job duties.

Rest and Meal Breaks

The state of Vermont requires that every employee who works continuously for more than six hours must be provided with a 30-minute unpaid meal break.

In addition to the unpaid meal break, Vermont labor laws require that employers provide all employees with an hourly paid rest break of at least 10 minutes for every four hours worked.

These paid rest breaks are a separate benefit from the meal break and are considered part of an employee’s work hours.

Employers who violate Vermont labor laws regarding rest and meal breaks risk facing legal consequences, including financial compensation for affected employees.

Family and Medical Leave Laws in Vermont

The Family and Medical Leave Law Act (FMLA) in Vermont applies to both public and private sector employers. It provides two types of leave: parental and family leave. Both types offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for specific reasons.

To qualify for FMLA leave, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have worked for an employer with 50 or more employees for at least 20 weeks of the current or preceding year
  • Have worked at a location where the employer has 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius
  • Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months (The 12 months of employment need not be consecutive but must be with the same employer)
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the leave request

The reasons for leave covered under Vermont FMLA:

  • Childbirth or adoption
  • Employee’s serious illness
  • Family member’s serious illness
  • Medical appointments
  • Medical emergencies involving family members

Family Members That Qualify for Vermont FMLA

The following family members qualify for Vermont FMLA:

  • Child
  • Stepchild
  • Ward of the state
  • Foster child
  • Parent
  • Spouse
  • Parent of the employee’s spouse
  • Same-sex partner in a civil union

These family members are eligible for various types of leave, including parental leave, family leave and short-term family leave, as provided by Vermont’s Family and Medical Leave Law.

Salary During Paid Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 40 hours of sick time a year, which can be used for various reasons including recovering from physical/mental illness or injury, seeking a medical diagnosis, treatment or preventative care, caring for a family member and more.

Employees earn 1 hour of paid sick time for every 52 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year. Simply put, for every 52 hours an employee works, they accumulate 1 hour of paid sick time.

The more hours they work, the more paid sick time they can accrue but the ultimate number of paid hours can not exceed 40 hours per year.

During paid sick leave in Vermont, employees must be paid at the same hourly rate they normally receive. Hourly workers are also entitled to receive their regular hourly rate for sick time hours.

An employer may require proof that that an employee is using thier sick time for one of the reasons allowed by the law.

Workplace Safety and Health Regulations in Vermont

Vermont’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA) has been diligently working since 1974 to safeguard the health and safety of workers in the state.

Workers in Vermont have specific rights under the VOSHA which include:

  • Right to a safe workplace: It mandates that employers provide working conditions free from known dangers.
  • Right to request Inspections: Workers can ask VOSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there are serious hazards or if their employer is not complying with the standards.
  • Rights without retaliation: Workers can use their rights under the VOSHA without fear of retaliation or discrimination.
  • Access to information and training: Workers have the right to receive information and training regarding workplace hazards, and methods to prevent harm in a language they understand. They can also access test results for workplace hazard assessments and review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
VOSHA covered empoyeesNon-covered VOSHA employees
Private sector workersFederal government workers
State and local government workersImmediate family members of farm employers
Self-employed Workers

Workers can file a complaint if they feel that the safety and health regulations are not being met by filling out a safety complaint form on an official Vermont government website.

Anti-Discrimination and Fair Employment Practices in Vermont

While it mirrors federal protections in many instances, Vermont has its own fair employment practices law called Vermont’s Fair Employment Practices Act  (FEPA).

It is a comprehensive piece of legislation that aims to ensure fair treatment and prohibit discrimination in the workplace.

This act defines various “legally protected categories” based on which it is considered unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee.

Under FEPA, no employee can be discriminated against based on:

  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Color
  • Crime victim status
  • Disability
  • Gender Identity
  • Health insurance coverage status
  • HIV+ status
  • National origin
  • Place of birth
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The Act covers every aspect of employment, including hiring, promotions, pay, benefits and working conditions.

FEPA also includes provisions against retaliation. It ensures that individuals participating in protected activities related to discrimination or employment-related complaints are shielded from retaliation by their employer.

Preventing retaliation involves:

  • Informing employees that retaliation is prohibited
  • Assuring employees that they will not face repercussions for taking actions protected by law
  • Responding promptly and effectively to discrimination questions, concerns and complaints
  • Ensuring that managers understand their responsibility to prevent retaliation
  • Holding employees accountable for enforcing anti-discrimination rules and policies

Independent Contractor Classification in Vermont

In Vermont, determining whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor is important, as it has significant implications for various labor and tax-related matters.

The key test used in Vermont for this classification is the “ABC Test.”

To be considered an independent contractor and not an employee, an individual must meet all three parts of this test:

  • A. Freedom from control or direction: The individual must have the freedom from control or direction over the performance of their services, both as specified in their contract of service and in practice.
  • B. Services outside usual business: The services provided by the individual must be either outside the usual course of the business for which the services are performed or performed outside all the places of business of the enterprise for which the services are performed.
  • C. Independently Established Trade: The individual must be customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business.

It’s important to emphasize that if you have any doubts about whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor, you should reach out to the Vermont Department of Labor’s Field Auditors for guidance.

Termination and Final Paycheck Laws in Vermont

In Vermont, the laws regarding termination and final paychecks are straightforward and aim to ensure that employees receive their due wages promptly.

Employees who are terminated or laid off must receive their final wages within 72 hours of the date of their discharge.

Employees who voluntarily quit their jobs must be paid all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday. If the employer does not have an established payday schedule, the final wages must be paid by the following Friday.

Summary of Vermont Labor Laws

Vermont’s minimum wage increased to $13.67 per hour as of January 2024, with exceptions for tipped employees.

Overtime rules require compensation at 1.5 times the regular wage for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Vermont’s Family and Medical Leave Law Act provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific reasons.

Workplace safety is overseen by VOSHA, which grants workers certain rights and protections. Independent contractor classification follows the “ABC Test.”

Termination and final paycheck laws dictate that terminated employees must be paid within 72 hours, and quitting employees must be paid by the next scheduled payday or the following Friday if no payday is established.

FAQs About Vermont Labor Laws

Let’s see what are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Vermont labor laws.

Do you have to give two weeks’ notice in Vermont?

In Vermont, there is no official legal requirement for providing notice when resigning from a job. However, it is a common practice for employees to give two weeks’ notice before leaving their positions.

Does an employer have to pay for unused vacation time in Vermont?

In Vermont, labor laws do not mandate that employers must pay out accrued but unused PTO (paid time off).

However, there are circumstances in which employers may be obligated to provide such payouts.

This typically occurs when it is explicitly stipulated in an employment contract, company policy or collective bargaining agreement that unused PTO will be compensated to the employee upon termination.

Is Vermont an OSHA state?

The state of Vermont operates an OSHA-approved State Plan that extends its coverage to encompass most private-sector workers as well as all state and local government workers.

This means that Vermont has developed its occupational safety and health program, which operates in coordination with federal OSHA regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of workers within the state.

Vermont’s State Plan includes its own set of safety and health standards, enforcement procedures and compliance regulations, all in accordance with OSHA guidelines.

What is the longest shift you can legally work in Vermont?

For most workers, there are no specific federal or state laws that cap the number of hours you can work in a day. Therefore, they can work as many hours as they choose or as their employer requires.

However, there is an exception for workers under 16 years old. For these individuals, Vermont labor laws restrict their workday to a maximum of 8 hours.

Does Vermont have predictive scheduling laws?

In Vermont, there are no specific predictive scheduling laws in place. However, employees do have the right to request a flexible work schedule.

This flexibility can encompass a range of changes, including adjustments to the number of working hours, start and finish times and the possibility of working from home.

Disclaimer: This information serves as a concise summary and educational reference for South Carolina state labor laws. It does not constitute legal advice. For personalized legal guidance, it is recommended to consult with an attorney.  

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