Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 16. Labor And Employment

16VAC15. Department of Labor And Industry




The Department of Labor and Industry operates under the supervision of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and is charged with responsibility for administration of the statutes under Title 40.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to registered apprenticeship, labor, labor relations, occupational safety and health, boiler and pressure vessel safety, and certain sections of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) program requirements pursuant to §112 of the federal Clean Air Act relating to demolition and renovation of asbestos facilities. The Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry is authorized to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary for the enforcement of Title 40.1 of the Code of Virginia and the procedural rules that are required to comply with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-596). The Commissioner is also authorized to grant temporary or permanent variances from all standards promulgated by the Safety and Health Codes Board. Code of Virginia, Title 40.1, Chapter 1. In addition, under Article 5 of Title 40.1, Chapter 3, the Commissioner is authorized to investigate complaints of unsafe occupational safety and health conditions and instances of employment discrimination or retaliation against an employee because the employee filed an occupational safety or health complaint or has testified or otherwise acted to exercise rights protected by the safety and health provisions of the Title. The Department is responsible for investigating all complaints concerning the following labor laws found in Title 40.1 of the Code of Virginia: payment of wage, including failure to pay the state minimum wage; violations of the right-to-work law; prevention by former employer of employment by others; discharge of employee for absence due to work-related injury; unlawful requirements to pay for medical examination as a condition of employment; equal pay irrespective of sex; and use of prohibited questions on polygraph tests by an employer. Code of Virginia, Title 40.1, Chapter 3.

The Department is authorized to prescribe a multiple of the federal minimum hourly wage for the purpose of establishing the maximum portion of an employee's earnings that may be subject to garnishment. Code of Virginia, Title 34, Chapter 4.

In addition, the Department is also the state agency designated responsible for conciliation and mediation of labor disputes affecting public utilities and their employees or collective bargaining agents. Code of Virginia, Title 40.1, Chapter 4.

The Department is charged with issuing employment certificates, as required under Title 40.1 of the Code of Virginia, to allow youth employment; promulgating regulations to carry out the child labor laws; conducting investigations of alleged violations of all child labor laws; issuing permits to youth for theatrical performances and for solicitation of subscriptions other than to newspapers. The Commissioner is authorized to determine and declare occupations too hazardous for the employment of youth under the age of eighteen and to promulgate regulations governing hours of work for youth 14 and 15 years of age. Code of Virginia, Title 40.1, Chapter 5.

The Commissioner is authorized to employ persons to enforce the provisions of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety Act and the related regulations under this Act as promulgated by the Safety and Health Codes Board, and to administer other regulations of the Board concerning contract fee inspectors authorized under this Act. The Commissioner is also authorized to certify special inspectors who shall be authorized to inspect boilers and pressure vessels for the Commonwealth. Code of Virginia, Title 40.1, Chapter 3.1.

The Department issues asbestos and lead project permits to licensed asbestos contractors and certified lead contractors engaged in such projects covered under the laws of Virginia. Code of Virginia, Title 40.1, Chapter 3.2.

The Commissioner administers the provisions of the Voluntary Apprenticeship Act. The Commissioner is authorized to determine standards for apprenticeship agreements; to approve, terminate, or cancel such agreements; to issue certificates of journeymanship; and to initiate deregistration proceedings. Code of Virginia, Title 40.1, Chapter 6.

The Commissioner is responsible for enforcing occupational safety and health regulations designed to protect employees during the construction, maintenance, repair, and operation of tramways and other hauling and lifting devices used as public or employee conveyances.

The Commissioner is responsible for enforcing the Overhead High Voltage Line Safety Act, which was enacted to promote the safety and protection of persons working in the vicinity of overhead high voltage lines. Code of Virginia, Title 59.1, Chapter 30 and Title 40.1, Chapters 1 and 3.

Agency regulations may be accessed by means of:

the Virginia Legislative Information System website at:;

email at:;

 regular mail from:

Department of Labor and Industry

Main Street Centre

600 East Main Street, Suite 207

Richmond, VA 23219-2430;

or in person at:

Department of Labor and Industry,

Main Street Centre,

600 East Main Street, 17th Floor

Richmond, VA 23219-2430.


Rev. 09/2018


Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.