H. B. 2611

(By Delegates Hubbard, Damron,
Caputo, C. White and Beach)
[Introduced January 14, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Education.]

A BILL to amend and reenact section one, article seven, chapter eighteen-b of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to higher education classified personnel; requiring all classified job vacancies be posted; clarifying seniority for nonexempt classified employees; describing how vacancies for nonexempt classified employee positions are filled; and requiring a seniority list of nonexempt classified employees be published annually.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section one, article seven, chapter eighteen-b of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§18B-7-1. Seniority for full-time classified personnel; seniority to be observed in reducing work force; preferred recall list; renewal of listing; notice of vacancies.
(a) Definitions for terms used in this section shall be in accordance with those provided in section two, article nine of this chapter except that the provisions of this section shall apply only to classified employees whose employment, if continued, shall accumulate accumulates to a minimum total of one thousand forty hours during a calendar year and extend over at least nine months of a calendar year: Provided, That this section shall also apply applies for one year to any classified employee who is involuntarily transferred to a position in nonclassified status for which he or she did not apply.
(b) All decisions by the appropriate governing board or their agents at state institutions of higher education concerning reductions in work force of full-time classified personnel, whether by temporary furlough or permanent termination, shall be made in accordance with this section. For layoffs by classification for reason of lack of funds or work, or abolition of position or material changes in duties or organization and for recall of employees so laid off, consideration shall be given to an employee's seniority as measured by permanent employment in the service of the state system of higher education. In the event that the institution wishes to lay off a more senior employee, the institution must demonstrate that the senior employee cannot perform any other job duties held by less senior employees of that institution in the same job class or any other equivalent or lower job class for which the senior employee is qualified: Provided, That if an employee refuses to accept a position in a lower job class, such the employee shall retain all rights of recall hereinafter provided. If two or more employees accumulate identical seniority, the priority shall be determined by a random selection system established by the employees and approved by the institution.
(c) Any employee laid off during a furlough or reduction in work force shall be placed upon a preferred recall list and shall be recalled to employment by the institution on the basis of seniority. An employee's listing with an institution shall remain active for a period of one calendar year from the date of termination or furlough or from the date of the most recent renewal. If an employee fails to renew the listing with the institution, the employee's name may be removed from the list. An employee placed upon the preferred list shall be recalled to any position opening by the institution within the classification(s) in which the employee had previously been employed or to any lateral position for which the employee is qualified. An employee on the preferred recall list shall does not forfeit the right to recall by the institution if compelling reasons require such the employee to refuse an offer of reemployment by the institution.
The institution shall be is required to notify all employees maintaining active listings on the preferred recall list of all position openings that from time to time exist. Such The notice shall be sent by certified mail to the last known address of the employee. It shall be is the duty of each employee listed to notify the institution of any change in address and to timely renew the listing with the institution. No position openings shall may be filled by the institution, whether temporary or permanent, until all employees on the preferred recall list have been properly notified of existing vacancies and have been given an opportunity to accept reemployment.
(d) All state institutions of higher education are required to post and date notices of all classified job vacancies of established, existing or newly-created positions in conspicuous working places for all classified employees to observe for at least five working days. The notice of these vacancies shall contain the job description, the period of employment, the amount of pay and any benefits and other information that is helpful to the employees to understand the nature of the job. All vacancies shall be filled within twenty-five working days from the date of posting. A nonexempt classified employee, including a nonexempt employee who has not accumulated a minimum total of one thousand forty hours during the calendar year or whose contract does not extend over at least nine months of a calendar year, who meets the minimum qualifications for a job opening at the institution where the employee is currently employed, whether the job be is a lateral transfer or a promotion, and applies for same the job shall be transferred or promoted before a new person is hired unless such the hiring is affected by mandates in affirmative action plans or the requirements of Public Law 101-336, the Americans with Disabilities Act. If more than one qualified, nonexempt classified employee applies, the best-qualified nonexempt classified employee shall be awarded the position. In instances where such classified employees are equally qualified, the nonexempt classified employee with the greatest amount of continuous seniority at the state institution of higher education shall be awarded the position. A nonexempt classified employee is one to whom the provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended, apply.
(e) The seniority for a nonexempt classified employee begins to accrue on the first day the employee assumes his or her duties at any state institution of higher education and includes any days the employee was off from work due to an injury which is compensable under workers' compensation. A seniority list of all nonexempt classified employees shall be published annually at every state institution of higher education and shall be posted in conspicuous working places for all nonexempt classified employees to observe.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require the vacancies for all classified employee positions be posted; that nonexempt classified positions be filled on the basis of seniority among employees who meet the minimum job qualifications; to clarify the starting date for seniority including time off for workers' compensation injuries for nonexempt classified employees and to require that seniority lists be published annually.

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