West Virginia

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

West Virginia minimum wage laws define a workweek as a regularly recurring period of 168 hours which is the equivalent of seven consecutive 24-hour periods. The workweek does not need to coincide with the calendar week and may begin on any day of the calendar week and at any hour of the day. If an employer alters an employee’s workweek, the employer shall provide the employee with at least one full pay period’s notice of the change. Employees regular hours of work in a workweek is 40 hours. 

West Virginia minimum wage laws require employers to count time spent by employees waiting as hours worked for purposes of its minimum wage and overtime requirements if the employee is, based on the fact, engaged to wait. WV Admin. Code 21-5C-9.7.

“On-call time” means the time an employer requires an employee to remain on, or in close proximity to, the employer’s premises so that the employee is not free to use the time as he or she wishes. If an employer only requires an employee to leave his or her contact information at home or with the employer, the employee is not working “on-call.”

Overtime

Employees covered by West Virginia’s overtime law must be paid 1.5 times their regular rates for hours worked in excess of 40 per week.

Breaks

Employees working within the state of West Virginia that work six or more hours per day or shift. are required to provide their employees with the minimum of a twenty-minute meal/break period unless the employee is already being provided a lunch or break period, or is allowed to eat while working.

 

The break requirement remains at twenty minutes regardless of the total number of hours the employee works in excess of the required six. The break may be given at any time throughout the employee’s workday at a time deemed reasonable by the employer. The twenty-minute requirement doesn’t have to be provided all together in one break period. It may be provided in smaller increments at the discretion of the employer. 

Public Holidays

West Virginia law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

In West Virginia, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws.

Annual Leave

State law does not require employers to provide any type of employee fringe benefits such as holiday pay, PTO, vacation pay, etc. to their employees. However, when an employer chooses to provide such benefits that the employer is responsible for establishing a written policy outlining how those benefits are earned and paid.

Minimum Wage

As of January 1, 2020, the state’s hourly minimum wage is $8.75.

The above information on minimum wages might not be up to date & subject to change. Kindly access the DOL website for the current rates.

Meal Breaks

State law requires all employers that have employees working within the State of West Virginia to provide their employees working at least six hours each day with a meal break period of at least twenty (20) minutes in duration unless such employees are allowed to eat while working and make necessary restroom visits throughout the workday. The twenty (20) minute break requirement is not intended as an additional requirement for any break or lunch periods already being provided by the employer. It is only required when employees are not being provided a break or lunch period of any kind and are not permitted to eat or have necessary restroom visits while working. Any meal break or rest period that lasts for twenty minutes or less must be paid.

 

 

Special Leave

Parental Leave

An employee shall be entitled to a total of twelve weeks of unpaid family leave, following the exhaustion of all his or her annual and personal leave, during any twelve-month period:

      • Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee; or
      • Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption; or
      • In order to care for the employee’s son, daughter, spouse, parent or dependent who has a serious health condition.

In the case of a son, daughter, spouse, parent or dependent who has a serious health condition, such family leave may be taken intermittently when medically necessary. An employee may take family leaves on a part-time basis and on a part-time leave schedule, but the period during which the number of workweeks of leave may be taken may not exceed twelve consecutive months, and such leave shall be scheduled so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the employer.

 

If a leave because of birth or adoption is foreseeable, the employee shall provide the employer with two weeks, written notice of such expected birth or adoption. If a leave under this section is foreseeable because of planned medical treatment or supervision, the employee:

        • Shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment or supervision so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the employer, subject to the approval of the health care provider of the employee’s son, daughter, parent or dependent; and
        • Shall provide the employer with two weeks, written notice of the treatment or supervision.
Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to the main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Voting Leave
Every person entitled to vote at any election who may be employed by any person, company, or corporation on the day on which such election shall be held in this state, shall, on written demand of such employee, made at least three days prior thereto, be given a period of not more than three hours, if necessary, between the opening and the closing of the polls on such day, for the purpose of enabling such person to repair to the place of voting to cast his vote and return, without liability to any penalty or deduction from his usual salary or wages on account of such absence, except that any employee, who has three or more hours of his own time away from his work or place of employment at any time between the hours of the opening and the closing of the polls on election day and who fails or neglects to vote or elects not to vote during such free time away from his work or employment, may be subject to wage or salary deductions for the time actually absent from his work or employment for voting in such election.
 
Pregnancy Disability Leave
It shall be unlawful to –
      • Not make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of a job applicant or employee, following delivery by the applicant or employee of written documentation from the applicant’s or employee’s health care provider that specifies the applicant’s or employee’s limitations and suggesting what accommodations would address those limitations, unless such covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of such covered entity; or
      • Deny employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee, if such denial is based on the refusal of the covered entity to make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of an employee or applicant; or
      • Require a job applicant or employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions to accept an accommodation that such applicant or employee chooses not to accept; or
      • Require an employee to take leave under any leave law or policy of the covered entity if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to the known limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of an employee.
Jury Duty Leave
Upon receiving a summons to report for jury duty an employee shall, the next day the employee is engaged in employment, exhibit the summons to the employee’s immediate superior and the employee shall thereupon be excused from employment for the day or days required in serving as a juror in any court created by the Constitutions of the United States or of the State of West Virginia or the laws of the United States or the State of West Virginia.
Leave of absence for public officials for performing public duties
Any persons elected to a part-time public office or appointed to a part-time elected public office shall be entitled to a leave of absence from his or her private employment except when such employment is with an employer employing five or fewer persons on a full-time basis on the days or portion of any day during which he or she is engaged in performing the duties of his or her public office. The leave of absence shall not result in any penalty being imposed upon the persons entitled to the leave of absence: Provided, That such leave of absence may be without pay by the private employer.
Volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical Services Leave
No employer may terminate, or use any disciplinary action against, an employee who is a member of a volunteer fire department or who is an emergency medical service attendant and who, in the line of emergency duty as a volunteer fireman or an emergency medical service attendant, responds to an emergency call prior to the time he or she is due to report for work and which emergency results in a loss of time from his or her employment. Any time lost from employment as provided in this section may be charged against the employee’s regular pay or against the employee’s accumulated leave, if any, at the option of the employee. At the request of an employer, any employee losing time as provided herein shall supply his or her employer with a statement from the chief of the volunteer fire department or the supervisor or other appropriate people in charge of the emergency medical service entity stating that the employee responded to an emergency call and the time thereof.
 
In essential government, health, hospital, transportation and communication services and in production, manufacturing, and processing works requiring continuity in operation, the employer may, upon receipt of such written demand for voting time off, arrange and schedule a calendar of time off for any and all of his employees for voting so as to avoid impairment or disruption of essential services and operations, but every such schedule or calendar of time off for voting so arranged shall provide ample and convenient time and opportunity for each employee of such services or works to cast his vote as herein provided.
Donor Leave
Full-time state employees are allowed up to 120 hours of paid leave for kidney and liver donation. The legislature encourages political subdivisions and private employers to grant full-time employees paid leave similar to the paid leave granted to full-time state
employees. (§29-6-27 & §29-6-28).

Last updated on: June 10th, 2020