Labor laws in the state of West Virginia protect employees and their rights. The laws make sure that employees are paid fairly and have all of the benefits to which they have the right. It also stops employers from breaking any federal or state laws that would hurt employees.
What is the Difference Between Part-Time vs. Full-Time in West Virginia?
There is no law in West Virginia that says how many hours you need to work to be full-time or part-time. Each company will have to set those hours for themselves. If you do not know if you are a full-time or part-time employee, then you should look at your employment contract or speak to your supervisor.
Part-time workers may have different rights and benefits when compared to regular full-time workers. For instance, they might not have access to medical or dental insurance and other benefits. This will depend on the individual contract between the employee and their employer.
What is the Minimum Wage in West Virginia?
West Virginia’s minimum wage is $8.75 per hour. For tipped employees, the minimum wage is $2.62 per hour. If an employee is under 20 years of age, minimum wage is $6.40 for the first 90 days.
If an employer fails to pay an employee the proper amount, they could become subject to legal liability. They may be required to pay the employee back amounts for the missed payment amounts, as well as other damages (this may vary from case to case).
How Does Overtime Work in West Virginia?
West Virginia employers are required to pay 1 and ½ times the regular hourly pay for every hour worked over 40 hours per week. This requirement is not a state law, but instead is dictated by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Salesmen, farm workers, federal employees, mechanics, and local bus employees are exempt from overtime pay.
West Virginia also does not have any laws controlling how much overtime that an employee can work. So, an employer can fire an employee who refuses to work overtime. This does not apply to nurse anesthesiologists, who cannot be asked to work so many hours that they feel they cannot protect their patients.
What Health Benefits are Required in West Virginia?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) applies to all employers with 50 or more full-time employees. It requires these companies to offer health insurance. Also, the plan the employer provides has to cover at least 60% of the costs for typical health care. Smaller companies are not required to provide insurance, so it is up to them to determine whether or not to offer insurance.
How Does Employment Discrimination Law Work in West Virginia?
In West Virginia and all other states, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or citizenship status. West Virginia has also specifically made it against the law to discriminate based on blindness. It is also against the law for an employer to punish an employee who has complained about discrimination.
To resolve an issue with your employer you have to first file with an agency. You can file locally with the West Virginia Human Rights Commission or federally with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Both agencies have their own deadlines so make sure to file early to not miss any time limits.
Whether you file in federal court or state court, there are limits on how much you can get back. The damages limit for federal court depend on the size of the company. For state court in West Virginia, and damages in the form of back pay is limited to 2 years from the filing of the claim and front pay is limited to 3 years from the end of the lawsuit. Also, in state court, punitive damages cannot be more than 2 times the amount you receive in compensatory damages.
Is there Paid Time-Off for Employees in West Virginia?
West Virginia does not provide employees with any additional benefits outside of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA only applies to large companies that operate in more than one state and have at least 50 employees. You get 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the law for illness, to take care of a sick family member, or to take care of an infant or newly adopted child.
Under the FMLA, you have the right to return to your job after your leave is up. Your employer also cannot cancel your health benefits while you are on break.
Where Can I Find a Local Employment Lawyer to Help Me?
You should never accept being denied your rights by your employer. Contact a West Virginia employment lawyer to discuss what you need to do to protect your rights. Your attorney can represent you in court and provide answers for any legal inquiries you may have.