Labor Laws in West Virginia: Employers are forbidden by West Virginia law from discriminating against and retaliating against workers who belong to a number of protected classifications. Equal pay and pregnancy accommodations are also requirements for employers.
The West Virginia Division of Labor’s Wage and Hour Section is in charge of enforcing state wage payment laws, as well as those pertaining to minimum wage, overtime, child labour, employee meal breaks, employee meal break requirements, maximum work schedules for nurses, hiring workers from the local labour market for state public improvement projects, and employer restrictions regarding employee agencies.
West Virginia has different types of Labor Laws that are given in the chapter 21 of the West Virginia Code.
Here are the different Labor Laws and their sections which you will get to know through this article:-
- Minimum Wage and Working Hours.
- Equal Pay
- Meal Break
- Child Labor
- Leave Laws
- Nursing Mother Laws
§21-5C-2. Minimum wages:- (Labor Laws in West Virginia)
- Every employer must pay each of their employees salaries at a rate of at least $5.85 per hour beginning on or after June 30, 2006.
- Every employer must pay each of their employees salaries at a rate of no less than $6.55 per hour beginning on or after June 30, 2007.
- Every employer must pay each of their employees wages at a rate of no less than $7.25 per hour beginning on or after June 30, 2008.
- Every employer must pay each of their employees salaries at a rate of no less than $8.00 per hour beginning after December 31, 2014.
- Every employer must pay each of their employees salaries at a rate of no less than $8.75 per hour beginning after December 31, 2015.
§21-5C-3. Maximum hours:
According to West Virginia’s minimum wage legislation, workers must be compensated for all hours worked. The term “hours worked” includes any time an employee is under their employer’s authority and supervision. Admin. Code 42-5-3.12; WV Statute 21-5C-1(h).
The total amount of time an employer forces, lets, or suffers an employee to work is also included. Virginia Statute 42-8-3.6 When such tasks are required by law or by the employer for safety, decontamination, or production reasons, they are included in the employee’s hours worked. WV Administrative Code 42-8-11.2.
According to West Virginia’s minimum wage regulations, if an employer hires an employee to wait, that employee’s waiting time must be counted as hours worked for the purposes of the state’s minimum wage and overtime obligations. WV Administrative Code 42-8-11.6.
Prior to January 1, 2015, a credit to the employer of 20% of the hourly rate of the amount paid to an employee typically receiving gratuities, as well as a reasonable credit for board and lodging provided to an employee, shall be provided in accordance with the regulations which shall be promulgated by the commissioner.
In determining whether an employer is paying an employee wages and overtime compensation as provided in sections two and three of this article: Given, however, that as of December 31, 2014, a credit to the employer of 70% of the hourly rate of the amount paid to an employee who customarily receives gratuities, as well as a reasonable credit for board and lodging furnishings, shall be provided in accordance with the legislative rules proposed for promulgation by the commissioner in determining whether an employer is paying an employee wages and overtime compensation as provided in sections two and three of this article.
According to West Virginia’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, employers must pay male and female employees the same wage rate for work that is similar in nature and demands similar abilities.
If wages are paid in accordance with a system based on seniority, merit, or the quantity or quality of production, or if a differential is based on good-faith considerations other than sex, the equal pay rule does not apply.
Be aware that, in cases where federal, state, and/or local laws conflict, the rule that gives the employee the most rights or benefits normally applies.
According to West Virginia law, companies with six or more employees in a single location must pay non-exempt workers 1.5 times their regular pay rate for all hours above 40 in a workweek.
In West Virginia, unless they are permitted to take breaks as needed or eat lunch while working, employees are required to take a meal break of at least 20 minutes every six hours of continuous labour. Employees have a right to compensation if they eat during working hours.
Rest periods are not mandated by West Virginia law. However, if an employer permits rest intervals, those breaks must be compensated unless they last longer than 20 minutes.
Child Labor Laws:-
The West Virginia Child Labour Laws give children between the ages of fourteen and seventeen the chance to work in a setting that encourages responsibility and educational possibilities. The rules for work permits, age certifications, the number of hours that children between the ages of fourteen and fifteen may work, and the jobs that have been deemed hazardous for each age group are all established by child labour regulations.
Not every circumstance is covered by child labour regulations. Babysitting, lawn mowing, running errands, and other services provided to friends and neighbours without the involvement of an employer are not covered. Also excluded are some particular professions. These jobs include those providing domestic assistance in an employer’s home; Newspaper delivery, agricultural labour, employment in a parent’s or guardian’s privately owned business, and acting in films, plays, radio, or TV shows are all examples of acceptable job.
Employers are not required to offer paid or unpaid vacation benefits to their staff in West Virginia. If an employer decides to offer such benefits, it must do so in accordance with the provisions of its written policy or employment agreement. Fringe Benefits; WV Division of Labour; WV Statute 21-5-1(c).
If the forfeiture policy is clearly and explicitly mentioned in the firm’s established policy or employment contract, it is legal for an employer to adopt a policy or enter into a contract that forbids paying employees for earned vacation time upon termination of employment. 207 W. Va. 203, 530 S.E.2d 676 (WV Sup. Ct. 1999); Meadows v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
According to West Virginia law, companies are not required to offer their staff paid or unpaid sick days. The requirements of the employer’s established policy or employment contract must be followed if the employer decides to offer sick leave benefits. Fringe Benefits in West Virginia.
According to the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal requirements, a West Virginia company may be compelled to give an employee sick leave.
Jury Duty Leave:-An employee’s time spent answering a jury summons or serving on a jury is not subject to compensation by the employer. If an employee submits his or her jury summons to the employer, including their immediate supervisor, on the following workday after getting the summons, the employer must excuse the employee from work for the day or days necessary to serve as a juror.
According to West Virginia law, companies must grant employees up to three (3) hours of paid time off to vote, as long as the request is made in writing three (3) days prior to the election or vote.
Employers are not required to give workers who have three (3) hours of free time to cast a ballot when the polls are open the option of paid time off to vote.
Nursing Mother Laws:-
There are no state-specific laws or other regulations pertaining to employees’ rights to breastfeed in West Virginia. However, for the first year following the kid’s birth, if the employee is covered by the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA), employers must grant a reasonable amount of break time for the employee to express breast milk for their nursing child. Id.
Additionally, under the FLSA, employers are required to offer an area other than a bathroom where a worker may express breast milk without being seen or disturbed by other employees or by members of the public.
When an employee is fired, quits, or resigns from their job, the person, firm, or corporation responsible for that employee’s employment is required to pay that employee any wages that are owed for work that was completed prior to the separation of employment on or before the next regular payday on which those wages would otherwise be due. 21-5-4 of the W. Va. Code.
All wages earned at least through the 12th day immediately prior to the usual payday are included in the amount of wages that are owed.
A person, business, or corporation is liable to an employee for two times the unpaid amount as liquidated damages in addition to the amount that was not paid when it was due if the person, firm, or corporation fails to pay an employee’s wages as required by this section.