Senate Bill No. 149
(By Senators Yost and Fitzsimmons)
[Introduced February 14, 2013; referred to the Committee on
Education; and then to the Committee on Finance .]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18A-4-8b of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to county boards of education;
temporary reassignment of injured or ill service personnel
under specified conditions; compensation and benefits;
vacancies and job postings; and expiration of reassignments.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18A-4-8b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER BENEFITS.
§18A-4-8b. Seniority rights for school service personnel.
(a) A county board shall make decisions affecting promotions
and the filling of any service personnel positions of employment or
jobs occurring throughout the school year that are to be performed
by service personnel as provided in section eight of this article, on the basis of seniority, qualifications and evaluation of past
(b) Qualifications means the applicant holds a classification
title in his or her category of employment as provided in this
section and is given first opportunity for promotion and filling
vacancies. Other employees then shall be considered and shall
qualify by meeting the definition of the job title that relates to
the promotion or vacancy, as defined in section eight of this
article. If requested by the employee, the county board shall show
valid cause why a service person with the most seniority is not
promoted or employed in the position for which he or she applies.
Qualified applicants shall be considered in the following order:
(1) Regularly employed service personnel who hold a
classification title within the classification category of the
(2) Service personnel who have held a classification title
within the classification category of the vacancy whose employment
has been discontinued in accordance with this section;
(3) Regularly employed service personnel who do not hold a
classification title within the classification category of vacancy;
(4) Service personnel who have not held a classification title
within the classification category of the vacancy and whose
employment has been discontinued in accordance with this section;
(5) Substitute service personnel who hold a classification
title within the classification category of the vacancy;
(6) Substitute service personnel who do not hold a
classification title within the classification category of the
(7) New service personnel.
(c) The county board may not prohibit a service person from
retaining or continuing his or her employment in any positions or
jobs held prior to the effective date of this section and
(d) A promotion means any change in employment that the
service person considers to improve his or her working circumstance
within the classification category of employment.
(1) A promotion includes a transfer to another classification
category or place of employment if the position is not filled by an
employee who holds a title within that classification category of
(2) Each class title listed in section eight of this article
is considered a separate classification category of employment for
service personnel, except for those class titles having Roman
numeral designations, which are considered a single classification
(A) The cafeteria manager class title is included in the same classification category as cooks;
(B) The executive secretary class title is included in the
same classification category as secretaries;
(C) Paraprofessional, autism mentor and braille or sign
language specialist class titles are included in the same
classification category as aides; and
(D) The mechanic assistant and chief mechanic class titles are
included in the same classification category as mechanics.
(3) The assignment of an aide to a particular position within
a school is based on seniority within the aide classification
category if the aide is qualified for the position.
(4) Assignment of a custodian to work shifts in a school or
work site is based on seniority within the custodian classification
(e) For purposes of determining seniority under this section
a service person's seniority begins on the date that he or she
enters into the assigned duties.
(f) Extra-duty assignments. --
(1) For the purpose of this section, "extra-duty assignment"
means an irregular job that occurs periodically or occasionally
such as, but not limited to, field trips, athletic events, proms,
banquets and band festival trips.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary, decisions affecting service personnel with respect to
extra-duty assignments are made in the following manner:
(A) A service person with the greatest length of service time
in a particular category of employment is given priority in
accepting extra duty assignments, followed by other fellow
employees on a rotating basis according to the length of their
service time until all employees have had an opportunity to perform
similar assignments. The cycle then is repeated.
(B) An alternative procedure for making extra-duty assignments
within a particular classification category of employment may be
used if the alternative procedure is approved both by the county
board and by an affirmative vote of two thirds of the employees
within that classification category of employment.
(g) County boards shall post and date notices of all job
vacancies of existing or newly created positions in conspicuous
places for all school service personnel to observe for at least
five working days.
(1) Posting locations include any website maintained by or
available for the use of the county board.
(2) Notice of a job vacancy shall include the job description,
the period of employment, the work site, the starting and ending
time of the daily shift, the amount of pay and any benefits and
other information that is helpful to prospective applicants to understand the particulars of the job. The notice of a job vacancy
in the aide classification categories shall include the program or
primary assignment of the position. Job postings for vacancies
made pursuant to this section shall be written to ensure that the
largest possible pool of qualified applicants may apply. Job
postings may not require criteria which are not necessary for the
successful performance of the job and may not be written with the
intent to favor a specific applicant.
(3) After the five-day minimum posting period, all vacancies
shall be filled within twenty working days from the posting date
notice of any job vacancies of existing or newly created positions.
(4) The county board shall notify any person who has applied
for a job posted pursuant to this section of the status of his or
her application as soon as possible after the county board makes a
hiring decision regarding the posted position.
(h) All decisions by county boards concerning reduction in
work force of service personnel shall be made on the basis of
seniority, as provided in this section.
(i) The seniority of a service person is determined on the
basis of the length of time the employee has been employed by the
county board within a particular job classification. For the
purpose of establishing seniority for a preferred recall list as
provided in this section, a service person who has been employed in one or more classifications retains the seniority accrued in each
(j) If a county board is required to reduce the number of
service personnel within a particular job classification, the
following conditions apply:
(1) The employee with the least amount of seniority within
that classification or grades of classification is properly
released and employed in a different grade of that classification
if there is a job vacancy;
(2) If there is no job vacancy for employment within that
classification or grades of classification, the service person is
employed in any other job classification which he or she previously
held with the county board if there is a vacancy and retains any
seniority accrued in the job classification or grade of
(k) After a reduction in force or transfer is approved, but
prior to August 1, a county board in its sole and exclusive
judgment may determine that the reason for any particular reduction
in force or transfer no longer exists.
(1) If the board makes this determination, it shall rescind
the reduction in force or transfer and notify the affected employee
in writing of the right to be restored to his or her former
position of employment.
(2) The affected employee shall notify the county board of his
or her intent to return to the former position of employment within
five days of being notified or lose the right to be restored to the
(3) The county board may not rescind the reduction in force of
an employee until all service personnel with more seniority in the
classification category on the preferred recall list have been
offered the opportunity for recall to regular employment as
provided in this section.
(4) If there are insufficient vacant positions to permit
reemployment of all more senior employees on the preferred recall
list within the classification category of the service person who
was subject to reduction in force, the position of the released
service person shall be posted and filled in accordance with this
(l) If two or more service persons accumulate identical
seniority, the priority is determined by a random selection system
established by the employees and approved by the county board.
(m) All service personnel whose seniority with the county
board is insufficient to allow their retention by the county board
during a reduction in work force are placed upon a preferred recall
list and shall be recalled to employment by the county board on the
basis of seniority.
(n) A service person placed upon the preferred recall list
shall be recalled to any position openings by the county board
within the classification(s) where he or she had previously been
employed, to any lateral position for which the service person is
qualified or to a lateral area for which a service person has
certification and/or licensure.
(o) A service person on the preferred recall list does not
forfeit the right to recall by the county board if compelling
reasons require him or her to refuse an offer of reemployment by
the county board.
(p) Temporary reassignment due to injury or illness. --
Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, a
county board may permit a service person who holds a continuing
contract in a specific job classification and who is physically
unable to perform the job's duties to return to work and to perform
duties in another classification under the following conditions:
_____(1) The temporary reassignment is the result of a work-related
injury or illness confirmed by the employee's physician of choice;
_____(2) The service person receives the same compensation and
benefits as he or she would have received pursuant to his or her
continuing contract of employment in the classification of the
employee's regular position;
_____(3) The service person may not be discouraged nor prohibited from returning to his or her regular position on a light duty
_____(4) A temporary reassignment as described by this subsection
does not create a vacancy requiring posting and filling pursuant to
this section; and
_____(5) A temporary reassignment is limited to one calendar year.
(p) (q) The county board shall notify all service personnel on
the preferred recall list of all position openings that exist from
time to time. The notice shall be sent by certified mail to the
last known address of the service person. Each service person
shall notify the county board of any change of address.
(q) (r) No position openings may be filled by the county
board, whether temporary or permanent, until all service personnel
on the preferred recall list have been properly notified of
existing vacancies and have been given an opportunity to accept
(r) (s) A service person released from employment for lack of
need as provided in sections six and eight-a, article two of this
chapter is accorded preferred recall status on July 1 of the
succeeding school year if he or she has not been reemployed as a
(s) (t) A county board failing to comply with the provisions
of this article may be compelled to do so by mandamus and is liable to any party prevailing against the board for court costs and the
prevailing party's reasonable attorney fee, as determined and
established by the court.
(1) A service person denied promotion or employment in
violation of this section shall be awarded the job, pay and any
applicable benefits retroactively to the date of the violation and
shall be paid entirely from local funds.
(2) The county board is liable to any party prevailing against
the board for any court reporter costs including copies of
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow classified workers
who are physically unable to perform their job duties on temporary
or permanent basis to work in another classification at the
discretion of the county board of education and continue to receive
the compensation of the previous employment position for up to one
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would