Virginia Employment Commission FAQs


What is the difference between an employee and an independent contractor?

Both employees and independent contractors are workers hired by employers. However, if a worker is classified as a contractor, then the employer does not handle the contractor’s payroll taxes. The contractor is responsible for this as well as his or her worker’s compensation insurance. Independent contractors are also not eligible for Unemployment Insurance, while employees are eligible.

What is the Virginia Workforce Connection?

The Virginia Workforce Connection (VWC) is the Virginia Employment Commission’s online center for services. It was designed to be a central hub for both employers looking for qualified candidates and job seekers in the state. The Workforce Connection displays job postings as well as other resources for job seekers and employers.

What is Virginia’s minimum wage?

As of 2009, the minimum wage that Virginia employers must pay their employees is $7.25 per hour. However, this only applies if employers have four or more employees working for them. The per-hour wage rate is the only minimum wage law in the state. That is, there is no minimum amount of dollars that an employee must make during a day, week, month, etc.

What is the earliest that a youth can work in Virginia?

Youths in Virginia may work as early as 14 years of age. However, those who are 14 and 15 years of age may not work unless they acquire a work permit. Information and permission forms regarding work permits are available from junior high or high school guidance counselors at the youth’s school. All permission forms for such work permits must be signed by a parent or guardian.

How does the Virginia Employment Commission help job seekers?

The Virginia Employment Commission is dedicated to helping job seekers by matching them with possible employers, displaying job postings, consolidating job training opportunities and providing job seekers with data regarding the availability and wage opportunities in different industries and areas. Through the VEC, job seekers can learn how much they may make in a particular industry and whether a particular occupation is in high demand or scarcely available. Find out more about the programs VEC oversees to help Virginia residents by downloading our detailed guide.

How do I take a job-training course if I am not able to attend physical meetings?

The Virginia Employment Commission can recommend a number of free online training courses if cost or location is a barrier to you. These courses range in content from industry literacy courses to courses on safety in the workplace.

What is “priority of service” for veterans?

The state of Virginia places an emphasis on connecting veterans with employment opportunities. “Priority of service” means that veterans and some spouses of veterans are given priority over all other job seekers for job and job-training opportunities. As long as no law prevents this priority of service, veterans are especially emphasized in the VEC’s job connecting activities. Former service members can also download our comprehensive guide for more details about veteran employment assistance programs in Virginia.

What is the VEC’s Labor Market Information?

Labor Market Information (LMI) refers to market data about employment in Virginia. Labor Market Information helps job seekers learn if there is a market for their skills locally. The information also includes economic and demographic information from various parts of the state, as well as trends over the course of time.

What is the Trade Adjustment Assistance program?

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program aims to help Virginia workers who lose employment or have their work hours/wages drastically reduced. For workers who lose their jobs, the TAA program helps find replacement employment quickly. For all eligible workers, the TAA provides training and job-search assistance.

What should I do if I need to file for unemployment benefits with a state other than Virginia?

If you have been laid off or lost your job in a state other than Virginia within the past 18 months, then you may meet the requirements for unemployment benefits. However, you should not file for unemployment with Virginia even if you now live in the state. Instead, you should seek to file an Interstate Claim with the proper agency of the state in which you lost your job.

How is unemployment related to school lunches and breakfasts?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the federal National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, which assist certain children with obtaining meals during, before and after school hours. Children of families that receive unemployment insurance in Virginia are often eligible for these free or low-cost school meals. These lunch and breakfast programs may be helpful to families when the main income-providers are seeking employment.

What happens to unemployment benefits if the recipient passes away?

If a person claiming unemployment benefits passes away, then the remaining benefits due to that person are not withheld. Instead, all benefits owed to the deceased person will be given to his or her estate.

What should I do if I have a complaint against the Virginia Employment Commission?

All VEC services to employers and potential employees should be respectful and helpful. However, sometimes complaints are unavoidable. Complaints against the Virginia Employment Commission are handled by the State Monitor Advocate.

Does the Virginia Employment Commission handle overtime, wage and labor disputes?

No. Issues involving overtime pay, wage and labor disputes as well as last paychecks and required breaks for certain employees are handled by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

How many local VEC offices are there in the state of Virginia?

Most actions performed with the VEC by job seekers and employers may be done at local VEC offices. These offices are located in 34 counties. In total, there are 42 offices in all regions of the state of Virginia.

When are VEC Workforce Centers open?

Typically, VEC Workforce Centers have open hours on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. However, each office has the ability to set different hours if desired. The best way to know when your local center is open is to call and ask, as many offices are only open part-time such as two, three or four days of the week.

Who oversees the Virginia Employment Commission?

There is one main overseer of the Virginia Employment Commission: the commissioner. However, below the commissioner, there are five roles on the VEC’s organizational chart including:

  • The Information Security Officer.
  • The Deputy Commissioner.
  • The Chief Operating Officer.
  • The Chief Administrative Officer.
  • The Confidential Assistant/Policy.

Does the Virginia Employment Commission sponsor job fairs?

Yes, The VEC sponsors dozens of job fairs each year for employers, veterans and job seekers.

Why should I hire a veteran?

The VEC highly encourages employers to consider veterans to fill job openings. Some benefits of hiring veterans include the fact that they are generally leaders, used to teamwork, have an understanding of policies and procedures, have faced and overcome adversity and know how to perform in high-stress, pressure-filled environments.

Should I register all my business locations with the Employment Commission?

If you have multiple business locations and wish to register with the VEC, then you may need to do so separately. You should register each location separately if your hiring/recruitment is handled at each individual office. However, if all recruitment is handled at one location, then you will only need to register the one location.


Virginia Employment Commission