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Introduced Version Senate Bill 714 History

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Senate Bill No. 714

(By Senators Minard and Fanning)

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[Introduced March 21, 2005; referred to the Committee on Labor; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact § 21-5-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to damages under the Wage Payment and Collection Act.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That
§ 21-5-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. WAGE PAYMENT AND COLLECTION.

§21-5-4. Cash orders; employees separated from payroll before paydays.

(a) In lieu of lawful money of the United States, any person, firm or corporation may compensate employees for services by cash order which may include checks or money orders on banks convenient to the place of employment where suitable arrangements have been made for the cashing of such checks by employees for the full amount of wages.
(b) Whenever a person, firm or corporation discharges an employee, such person, firm or corporation shall pay the employee's wages in full within seventy-two hours.
(c) Whenever an employee quits or resigns, the person, firm or corporation shall pay the employee's wages no later than the next regular payday, either through the regular pay channels or by mail if requested by the employee, except that if the employee gives at least one pay period's notice of intention to quit the person, firm or corporation shall pay all wages earned by the employee at the time of quitting.
(d) When work of any employee is suspended as a result of a labor dispute, or when an employee for any reason whatsoever is laid off, the person, firm or corporation shall pay in full to such employee not later than the next regular payday, either through the regular pay channels or by mail if requested by the employee, wages earned at the time of suspension or layoff.
(e) If a person, firm or corporation fails to pay an employee wages as required under this section, such person, firm or corporation shall, in addition to the amount due, be liable to the employee for liquidated damages in the amount of wages at his regular rate for each day the employer is in default, until he is paid in full, without rendering any service therefor: Provided, however, That he shall cease to draw such wages thirty days after such default for an equal amount as liquidated damages, if the actual damages in the aggregate exceed a regular full days wages for which the employee gave notice of any included shortfalls to the employer within one year of their occurrence. Every employee shall have such lien and all other rights and remedies for the protection and enforcement of such salary or wages, as he or she would have been entitled to had he or she
rendered service therefor in the manner as last employed; except that, for the purpose of such liquidated damages, such failure shall not be deemed to continue after the date of the filing of a petition in bankruptcy with respect to the employer if he or she is adjudicated bankrupt upon such petition. In determining liquidated damages under the provisions of this subsection in effect prior to the adoption of the amendments enacted during the regular session of two thousand five, the Legislature hereby finds and clarifies the existing law that liquidated damages shall be proportional to actual damages in accordance with the case of Cooper v. Glavas Contracting Inc., 354 S.E.2d 822 (W.Va. 1987).



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that an employer who violates the Wage Payment and Collection Act is liable to the employee for liquidated damages in an amount equal to actual damages, if the actual damages exceed a regular days pay in the aggregate and the employee has notified the employer of a shortfall within one year of its occurrence. It also clarifies that liquidated damages determined under the current provisions of the law shall be proportional to actual damages in accordance with the case of Cooper v. Gravas Contracting, Inc., 354 S.E.2d 822 (1987).

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.


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