H. B. 4119
(By Delegates Caputo, Staton, Prunty,
Claypole, Seacrist, Fleischauer and Fragale)
[Passed March 14, 1988; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT 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; civil penalties; 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.
§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 (3) of this section, or
install a security booth for one person to occupy during these
hours or lock their doors and allow customers to be served
through a pass-through device.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) 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 which
shall be available for inspection during regular business hours
at each convenience food store, and shall base the training on
(5) Provide height markers at the door or doors exiting the
premise which display measurements from the floor: Provided, That
any owner who is in compliance with this section and certifies
such compliance to the superintendent of state police or the
superintendents designee, or the county sheriff's department or
the municipal police department, on or before the first day of
January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, shall be exempt
from the provisions of section four of this article.
§21-13-4. Penalties and enforcement.
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 non- compliance is corrected within ten days after a violation, no
fine may be assessed.
§21-13-5. 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 tax credit against the owner's tax liability on taxable
income earned from conducting the business of the convenience
food store for each convenience food store that meets the
requirements of subdivision (3), section three of this article.
(c) The tax credit available under this section is an amount
equal to the cost to the owner of meeting the requirements of
subdivision (3), section three of this article, or five hundred
dollars, whichever is less.