H. B. 4119
(By Delegates Caputo, Staton, Prunty,
Claypole, Seacrist, Fleischauer and Fragale)
(Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary)
[February 9, 1998]
A BILL to amend chapter twenty-one of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article thirteen, relating
to the safety of convenience food store employees; providing
definitions; safety procedures to be followed by certain
convenience food stores; duties of the commissioner of the
West Virginia division of labor; civil penalties and
enforcement; and tax credit for owners of certain
convenience food stores.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter twenty-one of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article thirteen, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 13. CONVENIENCE FOOD STORES SAFETY ACT.
The Legislature finds that it is necessary to the safety, health, public interest and general welfare of the people of the
state of West Virginia that convenience food stores operating in
the state be regulated to prevent the ever-present danger to the
safety, health, life and general welfare of its citizens and the
employees of these stores.
As used in this article, except where a different meaning is
provided in section five of this article:
(1) "Convenience food store" means a business establishment
(A) Derives fifty percent or more of its gross income from
the sale of goods, merchandise or other articles of value in
their original containers or gasoline and other petroleum
products with gross annual sales of one million dollars or more;
(B) Offers a limited quantity and variety of food, household
and sundry items; and
(C) Operates at any time between the hours of twelve o'clock
a.m. and five o'clock a.m.; and
(D) Does not sell or offer for sale prescription drug items.
(2) "Owner" means the person, corporation, partnership,
joint venture or other group enterprise having an ownership or
proprietary interest in a convenience food store.
(3) "Employee" means any person permitted to work by a
person, corporation, partnership, joint venture or group
enterprise legally responsible for the operation of the convenience food store.
(4) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the West
Virginia division of labor.
§21-13-3. Convenience food store regulations.
All convenience food stores shall comply with the following
(1) If open for business after twelve o'clock a.m., the
convenience food store must employ two persons who are
continuously on duty on the premises from twelve o'clock a.m.
until closing or five o'clock a.m., whichever occurs first, or
employ one person during these hours and install the security
camera system provided for in subdivision (6) of this section, or
install a security booth for one person to occupy during these
(2) Locate any signs posted in the windows so as not to
obstruct a clear and unobstructed view of the cash register and
sales area from outside the store;
(3) Maintain a drop-safe or time release safe at the
convenience food store which is bolted to the floor, or installed
in the floor, or weighs at least five hundred pounds;
(4) Post a conspicuous sign at the entrance which states
that there is a safe at the convenience food store and it is not
accessible to the employees;
(5) The entire area of the parking area used by customers of
convenience food stores must be lighted during all hours of
darkness when employees or customers, or both employees and customers are on the premises. Minimum average maintained
illuminance must be two footcandles or greater with a uniformity
ratio (average to minimum) of no more than five to one unless
such lighting violates applicable municipal lighting code
requirements or creates a public or private nuisance.
(6) If only one person is employed on duty on the premises
from twelve o'clock a.m. until closing or five o'clock a.m., the
store shall install, by the first day of January, one thousand
nine hundred ninety-nine, a security camera capable of producing
a retrievable image on film or tape that can be enlarged through
projection or other means. The cameras shall be maintained in
proper working order at all times. The commissioner of the West
Virginia division of labor shall propose emergency and
legislative rules in accordance with article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code specifying the nature and type of
security cameras necessary to satisfy the requirements of this
article. The rules shall further specify the location and number
of cameras necessary to protect the safety of convenience food
store employees. The commissioner shall propose the legislative
rules by the first day of August, one thousand nine hundred
ninety-nine. All security cameras in convenience food stores
shall comply with these rules.
(7) Any owner or employee who works between the hours of
twelve o'clock a.m. and five o'clock a.m. at a convenience food
store shall be trained in robbery prevention by the owner.
Owners shall develop a written robbery prevention program and shall base the training on the program. Each owner shall submit
the written training program to the commissioner by the first day
of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine.
(8) Provide height markers at the door or doors exiting the
premise which display measurements from the floor.
§21-13-4. Penalties and enforcement.
The commissioner shall enforce the provisions sections one,
two and three of this article as follows: any owner who fails to
comply with this article, upon the first violation, shall be
assessed a civil fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor
more than five hundred dollars; and, upon a second violation
shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than
one thousand dollars. For third and subsequent violations, an
owner shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more
than five thousand dollars. If noncompliance is corrected within
ten days after receipt of written notice of a violation, no fine
may be assessed.
§21-3-5. Tax credit.
(a) For purposes of this section, an owner of a convenience
food store means an owner, as defined in subdivision (2), section
two of this article, of a convenience food store that meets all
the requirements contained within the definition of a convenience
food store set forth in subdivision (1), section two of this
article except that the annual gross sales of the convenience
food store is less than one million dollars.
(b) An owner of a convenience food store within the meaning prescribed in subsection (a) of this section is entitled to
receive a one time tax credit against the owner's tax liability
on taxable income earned from conducting the business of the
convenience food store if the convenience food store meets the
requirements of subdivisions (3) or (6), section three of this
(c) The tax credit available under this section is an amount
equal to the cost to the owner of meeting the requirements of
subdivisions (3) or (6), section three of this article, or both,
or two hundred fifty dollars, whichever is less."