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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
  • 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.
    • Employers may establish a policy that denies payment for accrued vacation time upon separation from employment.
    • Employers may also cap the amount of vacation time that can be accrued, and can implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy that requires employees to use their leave by a certain date.
  • Jury Duty: Employers are not required to pay employees for time spent on jury duty, but must excuse them for the days required in serving as a juror if they have proof of the summons on the next day after the summons. 
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays.  
  • Voting Leave:  Employers must provide up to 3 hours of paid leave to vote as long as the employee has requested the time off in writing 3 days before the day of the vote. 
    • If the employee has enough time outside of their shifts to vote, they do not need to be provided with paid leave. 
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.

Final Paycheck

Employees who separate from employment for any reason (including terminations, resignations and layoffs) must be paid all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday. 

Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in West Virginia is $8.75.

Tipped Wages

The minimum wage rate for tipped employees is $2.62.

Child Labor

  • Minors 14 and 15 years of age are subject to the following restrictions:
    • When school is in session:
      • A maximum of 3 hours a day on school days
      • A maximum of 8 hours a day on non-school days
      • A maximum of 18 hours a week during school weeks
      • Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      • No working during school hours
    • When school is not in session
    • A maximum of 8 hours a day 
    • No more than 40 hours a week 
    • Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day
  • Minors 16 and 17 years of age are permitted to work the same hours as adult employees. 
  • All minors must be provided a meal break of at least 30 minutes if they are scheduled to work more than 5 hours. 

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • State 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. 
  • In workplaces where employees cannot take necessary breaks and/or permitted to eat on the job, employers must provide a meal break of at least 20 minutes to employees who work 6 hours or more. 

Employment Discrimination

  • The West Virginia Human Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age (40 years old and up), disability, religion, color, ancestry, national origin, blindness and/or disability.
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       

Termination

West Virginia 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 West Virginia. 

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