H. B. 4119
(By Delegates Caputo, Staton, Prunty,
Claypole, Seacrist, Fleischauer and Fragale)
[Introduced Janaury 29, 1998; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
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 store employees; providing
definitions; procedures to be followed by convenience
stores; and penalties for violations.
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 interests and general welfare of the inhabitants of the state of West Virginia that convenience food stores
operating in the state be regulated in order to prevent the ever
present danger to the safety, health, life and general welfare of
its inhabitants and the employees of these operations.
(a) "Convenience food store" is a business establishment
(1) Derives fifty percent or more of its gross income from
the sale of goods, merchandise or other articles of value in
their original containers, with gross annual sales over three
hundred thousand dollars; and
(2) Offers a limited quantity and variety of food, household
and sundry items; and
(3) Operates at any time during the hours of eight p.m. and
five a.m.; and
(4) Does not sell or have for sale prescription drug items.
(b) "Owner" is the person, corporation, partnership, joint
venture or other group enterprise having lawful possession of the
premises upon which the convenience food store is operated.
(c) "Employee" is the person, corporation, partnership,
joint venture or group enterprise legally responsible for the
day-to-day operation of the convenience food store.
§21-13-3. Convenience food store regulations.
All convenience food stores shall comply with the following regulations:
(a) If open for business after eight p.m., the convenience
food store must employ two persons who are continuously on duty
on the premises from eight p.m. until closing at five a.m.,
whichever event occurs first, or employ one person during these
hours and install the security camera system provided for in
subsection (i) of this section, or install a security booth for
one person to occupy during these hours;
(b) Locate any signs posted in the windows so as to provide
a clear and unobstructed view of the cash register and sales area
from the street;
(c) Locate the sales area so that the clerk and customer are
fully visible from the street at the time of the sales
(d) Post a conspicuous sign in the window which states that
the cash register has one hundred dollars or less in it;
(e) Have no more than one hundred dollars cash available and
readily accessible to employees;
(f) 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;
(g) Post a conspicuous sign in the window which states that
there is a safe at the convenience store and it is not accessible
to the employees;
(h) The entire area of the parking lot utilized by customers
of the convenience food store must be lighted during all hours of
darkness when employees or customers, or both employees and
customers are on the premises, as follows:
(1) Minimum average maintained illuminance must be two
footcandles or greater with a uniformity ratio (average to
minimum) of no more than five to one;
(2) Additionally, all such lighting shall be in accordance
with the applicable municipal lighting code requirements.
(i) If only one person is employed continuously on duty on
the premises from eight p.m. until closing at five a.m., the
store shall install a security camera of a type and number
approved by the superintendent of state police or the
superintendent's designee or by the sheriff of the county in
which the business is located, if not in a municipality. The
camera must be capable of producing a retrievable image on film
or tape that can be enlarged through projection or other means.
Cameras meeting the requirements of this section shall be
maintained in proper working order at all times and shall be
subject to periodic inspection by the superintendent of state
police or the superintendent's designee or by the sheriff.
(j) Any owner or employee who works between the hours of
eight p.m. and five a.m. at a convenience food store shall
complete a course in robbery prevention to be given by the local police department, or a program certified by the superintendent
of state police or the superintendent's designee or by the
sheriff, within thirty days after the employee begins employment.
If the local police department's robbery prevention course is
utilized, the chief executive or chief administrator of a
municipality, or designee, shall determine the cost of training
for each employee to the city, and the convenience food store
shall pay the cost to the police department prior to the training
of the employee.
(k) Provide height markers at the door or doors exiting the
premise which display measures from the floor.
Failure to comply with the provisions of this article is a
violation. Any owner who fails to comply, upon the first
violation, shall be fined 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.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a procedure
for protecting the safety of convenience food store employees and the community.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.