Of all the states in America, West Virginia holds the distinction of
being the only state to secede from its Confederate counterpart. As the
Civil War was escalating, delegates from West Virginia counties held
their own constitutional conference and decided they wanted nothing to
do with the rest of Virginia.
Although this was certainly a sore point for many people, President
Lincoln granted statehood to West Virginia. The matter that was
ultimately settled by the US Supreme Court and West Virginia was
welcomed into the union on 1863.
Today that independent spirit persists throughout the state. West
Virginia is one of the nation's leading producers of coal and as such
also generates an abundance of electricity for neighboring states. West
Virginia labor laws follow the national regulations of establishing the
minimum wage at $7.25 for a 40 hour work week with time and half for
any work over 40 hours.
West Virginia Child Labor Law
West Virginia has broken up the regulations for their child labor laws
based on the age of the worker. No minor under the age of 12 is
permitted to work. At 13, a minor can work as a baby sitter, newspaper
delivery, at a family owned business or on a farm. No work permit is
For teens 14-15, a work permit is required for them to be employed but
they are prohibited from working at any business where the main
function is to serve alcohol, such as a bar. During school, these
workers can only work three hours per day and only up to 18 per week.
They aren't allowed to work during normal school hours.
With 16-17 year olds, they can work unrestricted hours but should have
proof of their age provided to their employer. Although they are
allowed to participate in putting out forest fires, they are still
restricted from working in hazardous occupations or businesses that
sell liquor. Also, they are not permitted to work in a job that
involves driving as the main function of the job.
West Virginia Maternity Leave Laws
The parameters of family leave in West Virginia follow the standards
set forth in the Family and Medical Leave Act that was established by
the federal government in 1989. According to the FMLA, any person can
request up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work to deal with a new
baby, new adoption or new custody. If they opt to take all 12 weeks or
any portion of that, they are guaranteed to be able to return to their
jobs in the same position and salary.
The FMLA also covers West Virginia workers who need to take time off
for short term medical emergencies or educational requirements for
their children. Any type of leave needs to be requested in accordance
with company policy. A worker can't just take off and they need to meet
those qualifications of dealing with family matters.
West Virginia Final Wages Labor Laws
If an employee is fired in West Virginia, they are entitled to receive
their final paycheck within 72 hours. If that employee quits or is
lay-off because of cutbacks, then they are entitled to that last
paycheck and any owed benefits to be paid by on the next regular pay or
the last day of their employment.