Know Your Rights!
In the workplace individuals are protected by numerous laws. These laws protect wages and hours, working conditions, discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, and child labor laws. There are numerous rules and regulations that protect you. This process is handled through our Labor Relations, OHSA (Occupational Safety and Health), and Hearings and Appeals Divisions respectively.
Minimum Wage Rate in the U.S. Virgin Islands is $7.25 per hour.
Time and a half of the regular hourly rate must be paid for all hours worked over 8 hours each day and for over 40 hours in any work week including any hours worked on the 6th and 7th consecutive day of work.
Employees that work for tips must be compensated no less than $2.13 per hour in direct wages and receive at least $6.55 per hour with wages and tips combined. (See Tipped Employee Rights poster below)
Any employer who pays any employee less than the applicable wage rate to which such employee is entitled, shall be liable to such employee affected for the full amount of such wage rate. Any agreement between such employees and the employer to work for less than such wage rate shall be no defense to such action(see down loadable Wage Claim Form below).Meal and Rest Periods
Certain employees are eligible to receive mandatory meal and rest periods by their employers except as otherwise provided for in a written contract or contained in a collective bargaining agreement. An employee may voluntarily agree to forgo any rest period or meal period. The employer has the burden of proving the existence of the agreement with the employee .Any violations of the Mandatory Meal and Rest Period must be filed, in writing, with the Department of Labor/ Division of Labor Relations.(see Mandatory Meal and Rest Period Form below) For more information, please view the (Meal and Rest Period Laws below) in detail.
It is against local and federal law to discriminate against an individual in hiring, promoting or terminating because of race, sex, age, religion, color, ancestry, or handicap (see Rules and Regulations for Title 24, Virgin Islands Code on Employment Discrimination below).
Sexual Harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the VI CODE TITLE 24 CHAPTER 17. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state local governments. Title 24 Chapter 27 applies to employers with 2 or more employees. It also applies employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as the federal government. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances.Plant Closing
"Plant Closing" means a permanent cessation or reduction of Business at a facility which results or will result as determined by the Commissioner in the permanent separation of at least 50 percent of the employees of said facilities within a period of six months prior to the date of actual or anticipated termination of Business or within such other period as the Commissioner shall prescribe, provided that such period shall fall within the six month period prior to the date of actual or anticipated termination of Business. Plant closing shall not include facilities which are closed under provisions of the Federal Bankruptcy Act, 11 USC 101 et seg., except for employers in reorganization proceedings and facilities closed due to physical calamity or natural disaster. Chapter 18, Title 24, Section 472 of the V. I. Code states that every employer who is closing a facility shall at least 90 days prior to the Plant Closing give advance Notification to the Commissioner of Labor, any affected employees, and if the employees are represented by a Labor Union to such Union.
Child Labor Laws
A CHILD LABOR CERTIFICATE must be obtained from the Labor Relations Division for any minor under the age of 18 but older that 13. Minors between the ages of 14 and 15 cannot work between the hours of 7am and 7pm during the school year, more than 3 hours in a school day or 18 hours in a school week.It is against the law for a minor to work in a hazardous occupation involving heavy construction work, the operation of power driven, metal forming, punching and shearing machines, the making of alcoholic beverages in bottling plants, electric and power generating plants, steam laundries, any quarry, the operation of power driven woodworking machines, spray painting or occupations involving exposure to lead or other hazardous chemicals, or any other business that is hazardous.