New West Virginia law allows hiring preference for veterans

by Thomas S. Kleeh

West Virginia will join the list of states that allow hiring preferences for veterans when a new law takes effect on June 22.

House Bill 4507 was signed into law on March 24. Its purpose is to assist veterans and disabled veterans in securing employment. The new law amends the provisions of the West Virginia Human Rights Act (WVHRA) that outline unlawful discriminatory practices by West Virginia employers. The new law also adds a section to the WVHRA setting forth the circumstances in which employers may have hiring preferences for military personnel.

“Veteran” is defined as any servicemember who has been honorably discharged after providing more than 180 consecutive days of full-time active-duty service in the U.S. armed services or reserves, including the National Guard. A veteran also may be granted preference in the hiring process if he has been issued a service-connected disability rating by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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West Virginia joins states limiting access to employees’ social media accounts

by Tracey B. Eberling

West Virginia’s new law regulating employer access to employees’ and applicants’ personal social media accounts goes into effect June 10.

The West Virginia Internet Privacy Protection Act is aimed at protecting employees’ “personal accounts,” defined as “an account, service or profile on a social networking website that is used by an employee or potential employee exclusively for personal communications unrelated to any business purposes of the employer.”

The new law says that an employer may not: read more…

West Virginia becomes 26th right-to-work state

by Rodney L. Bean

West Virginia became the nation’s 26th right-to-work state Friday when both houses of the West Virginia Legislature voted to override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of right-to-work legislation. The new law will take effect May 4, 2016.

The legislation bans union security agreements—pacts between employers and labor unions that require employees to join a union and pay union dues in order to work for the employer. West Virginia employees will gain the right to refuse to join a union or pay union dues.

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West Virginia Legislature passes right-to-work bill; governor promises veto

by Rodney L. Bean

Both houses of West Virginia’s legislature have passed a bill that would make West Virginia the nation’s 26th right-to-work state. The bill arrived at Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s desk on Monday, February 8, and now awaits his signature or veto.  Flag of West Virginia, USA.

After a February 4 debate that lasted almost five hours, the House of Delegates voted 54-46 in favor of the bill, which bears the title “West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act.” The Senate had passed the measure by a 17-16 vote on January 21. Leaders of the Republican legislative majority have identified the bill as a priority for this session and introduced it on the opening day of the term.

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Appeals court keeps hold on Obama’s immigration orders

May 27, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

No quick resolution is in sight to the uncertainty surrounding President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. On May 26, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift a temporary hold on Obama’s actions, which were designed to ease deportation worries for millions of undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for years.

“Employers will have to wait possibly months, or years, for the courts or Congress to resolve the status of undocumented immigrants who would have been eligible for work permits under President Obama’s executive action,” said Elaine C. Young, an attorney with the Kirton McConkie law firm in Salt Lake City and an editor of Utah Employment Law Letter.

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Proposed West Virginia regulations spell change to wage and hour landscape

by Rodney Bean

The West Virginia Division of Labor (DOL) has proposed emergency regulations that, if enforced in their present form, could force West Virginia employers to change by December 31 a number of common wage and hour practices that comply with long-standing federal regulations.

Although the state DOL’s emergency rules purport to adopt vast portions of federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, they simultaneously impose several new rules that contradict or otherwise differ from those same federal regulations, particularly as they relate to the determination of what constitutes compensable working time.

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New West Virginia law requires accommodations for pregnant employees

by John R. Merinar, Jr., and Carolyn A. Wade

A new West Virginia law taking effect June 4 means employers in the Mountain State must make reasonable accommodations to a job applicant’s or employee’s known limitations involving pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

The Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act amends the West Virginia Human Rights Act. Under the law, the applicant or employee must provide written documentation from a healthcare provider that specifies her limitations and suggests accommodations to address them. The employer must provide the accommodations unless they would result in an undue hardship on the operation of the business.

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Changes to West Virginia wage payment act go into effect today

by Susan Llewellyn Deniker

Amendments to the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA) go into effect today, changing the rules on when discharged employees must be given their final paycheck.

Under the old law, discharged employees had to be paid all wages owed within 72 hours of termination. This year, the legislature amended the WPCA to allow discharged employees to be paid no later than the next payday or within four business days, whichever comes first. Business days are defined as any day other than Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays.

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Once ‘Moore’ with feeling: ‘Twas the Month of December—Again!

by Vanessa L. Goddard

‘Twas the month of December, we’re early this year,
To plan against surprises as Christmas draws near.
In the past HR handled parties and drinking.
“What could possibly happen?” you might be thinking.

Our vets have come home this year—to their positions.
We’ve worked with our employees’ many transitions.
Taken care of the disabled; those on workers’ comp.
Times should be joyful, happy. We’re ready to romp!

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Texting While Driving Now Illegal in West Virginia

West Virginia has become the 41st state to ban texting while driving. The law, which went into effect July 1, makes it a primary offense to text with a handheld cell phone while driving. Because it’s a primary offense, violators can be pulled over and cited. Texting already was a secondary offense, meaning someone violating a primary offense also could be cited for texting.

Beginning July 1, 2013, it will become a primary offense to talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving in West Virginia.

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Categories: OSHA / West Virginia

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