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 store employees; providing
definitions; safety procedures to be followed by convenience
stores; duties of the commissioner of the West Virginia
division of labor; civil penalties and enforcement; penalty
for felonies committed in convenience 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.
(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 or gasoline and other petroleum
products with gross annual sales over three hundred thousand
(2) Offers a limited quantity and variety of food, household
and sundry items; and
(3) Operates at any time between the hours of eleven p.m.
and five a.m.; and
(4) Does not sell or offer for sale prescription drug items.
(b) "Owner" is the person, corporation, partnership, joint
venture or other group enterprise having an ownership or
proprietary interest in a convenience food store.
(c) "Employee" includes 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.
(d) "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
(a) If open for business after eleven p.m., the convenience
food store must employ two persons who are continuously on duty
on the premises from eleven p.m. until closing or five a.m.,
whichever occurs first, or employ one person during these hours
and install the security camera system provided for in subsection
(f) 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 not to
obstruct a clear and unobstructed view of the cash register and
sales area from outside the store;
(c) 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;
(d) Post a conspicuous sign at the entrance which states
that there is a safe at the convenience store and it is not
accessible to the employees;
(e) 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.
(f) If only one person is employed on duty on the premises
from eleven p.m. until closing or five a.m., the store shall
install, by the first day of January, nineteen hundred and
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 store employees. The
commissioner shall propose the rules by the first day of August,
nineteen hundred and ninety-eight. All security cameras in
convenience stores shall comply with these rules.
(g) Any owner or employee who works between the hours of
eleven p.m. and five 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,
nineteen hundred and ninety-nine.
(h) 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 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
§21-3-5. Penalty for felonies committed in convenience stores.
Persons convicted of committing a felony in a convenience
store shall be guilty of a felony and shall be sentenced to a
term five years, to run consecutive to any sentence already
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a procedure
for protecting the safety of convenience food store employees and
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.