It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Vermont statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few Vermont labor laws every small business owner should know.

Resources

First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:

Leave

  • Sick Days: Employers are required to provide eligible employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 52 hours worked. 
    • Accrual may be capped to 40 hours in a 12-month period. 
  • Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
  • Jury Duty: Employers are not required to pay employees for time spent on jury duty, but may not penalize the employee in any way. 
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave: No statute.  
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.

Final Paycheck

  • Employees who are terminated or laid off must be paid all final wages within 72 hours of the discharge. 
  • Employees who quit must be paid all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday. If there is no established payday, they must be paid by the following Friday.

Minimum Wage

  • The current minimum wage in Vermont is $10.78. 
  • The state minimum wage is to be reviewed every year and increased by 5 percent or the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is smaller. 

Tipped Wages

  • The minimum wage for tipped employees is $5.39. 
  • The tipped minimum wage is to be adjusted by the same percentage as the standard minimum wage each year. 

Child Labor

  • Minors 14 and 15 years of age may not work:
    • More than 3 hours a day on school days
    • More than 8 hours a day on non-school days
    • More than 18 hours a week during school weeks
    • More than 40 hours a week during non-school weeks
    • Outside of the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day
    • During school hours 
    • When school is not in session
  • Minors 16 and 17 years old do not have time restrictions, but may not work in hazardous jobs such as manufacturing, construction, and similar fields. 

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • Federal law requires employers to pay non-exempt employees an overtime rate of 1 ½  their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40. 
  • Employers are required to provide “reasonable opportunity” to eat and use the restroom. 
    • Federal law does not require employers to provide meal periods or breaks, but if they choose to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid. 

Employment Discrimination

  • The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, place of birth, age (age 18 and over), handicap (disability) and HIV status.
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       

Termination

Vermont is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in Vermont.

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