Salaried employees are individuals who receive predetermined fixed compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or less frequently.
West Virginia has specific laws and regulations that outline the rights and responsibilities of both salaried employees and their employers.
This article aims to provide an overview of these laws, covering topics like payment procedures, break and leave entitlements, and the distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees.
This article covers:
- Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in West Virginia
- Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for West Virginia
- Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for West Virginia Salaried Employees
- Time Tracking of Salaried Employees Hours in West Virginia
- Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in West Virginia
- Male and Female Salaried Employees in West Virginia
- Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in West Virginia
- Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in West Virginia
- Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in West Virginia
- Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in West Virginia
In West Virginia, employers are required to remunerate their employees a minimum of two times every month, ensuring that the duration between pay periods does not surpass 19 days. In certain situations, the Commissioner of Labor might provide leeway, allowing employers to compensate their workforce less frequently than twice a month.
In the case of railroad corporations operating in West Virginia, distinct pay schedule regulations are observed. Employees of such companies receive their wages on or before the initial day of each month for the work accomplished in the first half of the previous month, and on or before the 15th day of each month for the latter half of the prior month’s labor.
Salaried employees can also be eligible for overtime in West Virginia. To be deemed exempt (not eligible) from overtime, an employee’s job responsibilities and salary must meet the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Labor.
For instance, exempt professional employees encompass roles like lawyers, physicians, teachers, architects, registered nurses, and other positions demanding advanced education or training. However, this exemption doesn’t encompass skilled trades, mechanical arts, or jobs not necessitating a college or postgraduate degree. Numerous categories of employees are commonly exempt from both state and federal overtime regulations, including those engaged in executive, administrator, and “learned professional” roles (like CPAs, lawyers, and nurses), as well as computer-related occupations.
Further, according to the Fluctuating Workweek Method, certain salaried exempt workers can be eligible for overtime pay. However, specific prerequisites must be fulfilled, including fluctuating work hours on a weekly basis and a minimum hourly wage of $7.25. If these criteria are met, qualifying employees can receive overtime pay amounting to half of their regular hourly rate.
As per West Virginia regulations, specific categories of employees are exempt from receiving overtime compensation:
- United States Government employees
- Volunteers in educational, charitable, religious, fraternal, or nonprofit organizations
- Various roles such as newsboys, shoeshine boys, golf caddies, pin-boys, and pin chasers in bowling alleys
- Traveling and outside sales representatives
- Individuals employed by their parent, son, daughter, or spouse
- Bona fide professionals, executives, or administrative employees
- On-the-job trainees
- Handicapped individuals working in nonprofit sheltered workshops
- Employees of boys or girls summer camps
- Individuals aged 62 or older receiving social security benefits
- Agricultural workers
- State-employed firefighters
- Ushers in theaters
- Students working 24 hours or less per week
- Employees of local interurban motorbus carriers
- Employees regulated under Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) standards
- Individuals engaged on a per diem basis by the West Virginia State Senate, the House of Delegates, or the Joint Committee on Government and Finance
- Salesmen, parts personnel, or mechanics involved in selling or servicing automobiles, trailers, trucks, farm implements, or aircraft
- Seasonal employees of commercial whitewater outfitters and amusement park workers with less than 7 months’ work in a year
Learn more in detail about West Virginia Overtime Laws.
Salaried workers are paid a fixed salary without regard to their working hours, allowing them to focus on their tasks within reasonable timeframes, free from the need to track hours. However, maintaining records and timesheets can be beneficial in scenarios like unexpected absences, vacations, holidays, and sick days.
Furthermore, tracking payroll schedules and compliance with overtime hours (if applicable based on company policies) can be significant. While not obligatory, these records offer valuable information for salaried employees in terms of tracking time off and compensation.
Discover more insights into time tracking for both salaried and hourly employees in the United States.
Employers must adhere to the requirement of paying their employees at least twice a month with a maximum gap of nineteen days between paychecks. They need to ensure that wages earned up to and including the twelfth day before the payday are fully compensated. If an employer fails to meet these obligations, employees can address the matter by submitting a Request for Assistance (RFA) to the relevant agency. However, if the delayed wage payment is a singular occurrence and the employer is taking immediate corrective measures, filing an RFA might not be necessary.
Under the West Virginia Wage Payment & Collection Act, employers failing to promptly pay final wages can be subject to liquidated damages as a monetary penalty. These damages amount to twice the total unpaid wages or fringe benefits owed. Since this agency lacks the authority to impose such penalties, employees seeking to recover liquidated damages must initiate a complaint in the magistrate or circuit court of the county where the work was performed. Employees can either file the complaint themselves or enlist legal representation to handle the process.
Any individual, company, or organization that knowingly and deliberately fails to establish and maintain an adequate bond, as mandated by section fourteen of this article, commits a misdemeanor offense. Upon being found guilty, they shall be subject to a fine ranging from $200 to $5,000 or imprisonment in the county jail for up to one month, or a combination of both penalties.
Similarly, any individual, company, or organization that knowingly, deliberately, and deceitfully disposes of or transfers assets with the intention of depriving employees of their rightful wages and fringe benefits is charged with a felony. Upon conviction, they shall face a fine ranging from $5,000 to $60,000, or imprisonment in a state correctional facility for a period between one and three years, or a combination of both penalties.
The West Virginia Equal Pay Act forbids both private and public employers from paying employees at a rate lower than employees of the opposite sex for work of a similar nature that demands comparable skills. The act also bars any form of retaliation against employees who either file or participate in investigations concerning claims related to equal pay.
On January 17, 2023, a bill named House Bill 2626, referred to as the “Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan Fair Pay Act,” was introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates. If approved, this legislation would mandate employers to disclose information regarding compensation, benefits, and other remuneration to inquiring candidates. Additionally, the bill explicitly states that employers cannot take any retaliatory actions against applicants who seek this information. This transparency can help identify and address any existing pay disparities based on gender. When applicants have access to information about the pay scale for specific positions, they can better negotiate fair and equal pay, leading to reduced gender-based wage gaps.
In West Virginia, various leave options are available to state employees. Sick leave for public employers accumulates at a rate of 1.5 days per month, totaling 18 days annually, which can be used for personal illness, medical appointments, and even to support immediate family members during their medical needs. Furthermore, employees are allowed to utilize up to 80 hours of sick leave to care for family members facing illnesses, injuries, or medical appointments.
Parental leave offers a significant 12-week period of unpaid leave for employees working within State Government or County Boards of Education. This leave covers occasions such as the birth of a baby, placement of an adopted child, or caring for an immediate family member dealing with serious health conditions. It’s important to note that parental leave is only accessible once the employee has exhausted their annual and personal leave limits.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides a federal safeguard, allowing eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave per year for specific family or medical reasons. This encompasses a wide range of situations such as the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, an employee’s own serious health condition, or an employee’s spouse/parent/child being on active duty. While the leave is unpaid, it covers public agency employees, public and private elementary/secondary school employees, and certain individuals with qualifying events. It’s essential to meet the eligibility criteria, including having worked for the same employer for at least 12 months and having accumulated at least 1,250 working hours during that time.
Employees in West Virginia have the right to a compensated meal break lasting a minimum of 20 minutes if their daily shift extends to six hours or more. These breaks contribute to stress reduction, enhanced productivity, and the prevention of exhaustion, making their provision advisable by employers.
Yet, if on-the-job eating is permitted, paid meal breaks might not apply. Additionally, breaks lasting 30 minutes or more are not classified as work time and do not warrant compensation.
Employers have the authority to make certain deductions from an employee’s wages without requiring explicit written permission from the employee. In addition to regular payroll taxes, allowable deductions encompass items like union or club dues, credit union payments, charitable donations, savings plans, health insurance premiums, and contributions to pension plans.
Apart from deductions authorized by state law or mandated by court orders, employers must secure written and notarized consent from employees before making any other kind of payroll deductions. This consent necessitates the completion of an “Assignment of Future Wages Form.”
Further, if an employee experiences a reduction in wages without prior written notice regarding the timing of the change in advance of the pay period, the employee holds the right to file a Request for Assistance (RFA) with the Division of Labor. This can be done to claim the difference between the previous salary and the modified rate as reflected in the initial paycheck reflecting the alteration.
In West Virginia, as in numerous other states, the principle of at-will employment is upheld. This signifies that employers retain the authority to dismiss employees for any rationale, even at their discretion. Simultaneously, employees possess the freedom to leave their positions at any time, whether for cause or without a specific reason. It’s essential to emphasize that termination cannot transpire on discriminatory grounds.
When it comes to West Virginia state regulations, the timing of final wage disbursement following employment conclusion varies according to the circumstance of separation. Should an employee choose to resign, quit, or be discharged, their final wages must be provided by the subsequent customary payday. Conversely, in cases of employee layoffs, final wages are disbursed on the forthcoming scheduled payday.
Learn more about West Virginia Labor Laws through our detailed guide.
Important Cautionary Note
When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.