This past legislative session, West Virginia passed a new law raising the minimum wage for hourly workers.
Effective January 1, 2015, the West Virginia minimum wage will increase from $7.25 per hour to $8 per hour, and then again to $8.75 per hour in 2016. In addition, if the federal minimum wage is raised, the higher of the two wages will be adopted.
Another change in employment law includes the definition of "employer" and who will be required by law to pay overtime to hourly employees. Previously, a loophole in the Maximum Wage and Maximum Hours Standards for Employees Act meant that most employers did not have to pay overtime wages since West Virginia had no state-specific overtime laws, and most employers fell under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Because the MWMHS hasn't been applied to most employers in West Virginia, there is question to how the new laws will be interpreted.
City officials in Charleston have expressed concerns for the new overtime laws as they apply to employees such as firefighters, since they work 48-hour shifts. Charleston City Manager David Molgaard says that unless exceptions are made for firefighters, the city would have to cut back their hours.
The new overtime rules go into effect June 2014. A special session has been planned to reinstate the 30-year-old exemptions that cover employees who work 24-hour shifts.
If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.
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