Senate Bill No. 540

(By Senators Hunter, Dempsey, McCabe, Rowe, Prezioso, Unger, Caldwell, Kessler, Minard, White, Love and Fanning)


[Originating in the Committee on Labor;

reported February 26, 2003.]


A BILL to amend and reenact sections one, two and three, article one-b, chapter twenty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to reporting of unauthorized workers employed in West Virginia; and defining unauthorized workers.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections one, two and three, article one-b, chapter twenty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
§21-1B-1. Findings; policy.
The Legislature finds that employers have the responsibility to check the residence status of their prospective employees and to verify the legal employment status of all persons who come into their employ and to report their employment to the appropriate governmental agencies. Employers are precluded from hiring illegal aliens unauthorized workers and can be penalized for doing so. Additionally, employers owe a duty to the legal residents of the state to uphold the intent and integrity of the general workforce due to the potential loss of revenue to the state by loss of taxes, unemployment premiums and workers' compensation premiums.
§21-1B-2. Definitions.
(a) "Employer" means any individual, person, corporation, department, board, bureau, agency, commission, division, office, company, firm, partnership, council or committee of the state government, public benefit corporation, public authority or political subdivision of the state, or other business entity which employs or seeks to employ an individual or individuals;
(b) "Commissioner" means the labor commissioner or his or her designated agent;
(c) "Alien" means any individual who is not a natural born or naturalized citizen of the United States "Unauthorized worker" means a person who does not have the legal right to be employed, or is employed in violation of law; and
(d) "Records" means those records as that may be required by the commissioner of labor for the purposes of compliance with the provisions of this article.
§21-1B-3. Unauthorized workers; employment prohibited.
(a) It is unlawful for any employer to employ, hire, recruit, or refer, either for him or herself or on behalf of another, for private or public employment within the state, an alien who is not duly authorized to work by the immigration laws or the attorney general of the United States an unauthorized worker who is not duly authorized to be employed by law.
(b) Employers shall be required to verify a prospective employee's legal status or authorization to work prior to employing the individual or contracting with the individual for employment services.
(c) For purposes of this article, proof of legal status or authorization to work includes, but is not limited to, a valid social security card, a valid immigration visa, a valid birth certificate, a valid passport, a valid photo identification card issued by a government agency, a valid work permit or supervision authorized by the state division of labor, a
valid permits permit issued by the department of justice or other valid document providing evidence of legal residence or authorization to work in the United States: Provided, that for an alien, such unauthorized worker , the identification must include some form of photo identification.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make technical corrections to the reporting of employment of unauthorized workers to bring current state law into compliance with federal law.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicate new language that would be added.