(b) "Commissioner" means the labor commissioner or his or her designated agent.
(c) "Unauthorized worker" means a person who does not have the legal right to be employed or is employed in violation of law.
(d) "Records" means records that may be required by the commissioner of labor for the purposes of compliance with the provisions of this article.
(e) "Knowingly" means, with respect to conduct or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, that a person is aware by documentation or action that the person's conduct is of that nature or that the circumstance exists. Failure to request or review documentation of an employee's legal status or authorization to work is deemed to be "knowingly".
(f) "License" means any permit, certificate, approval, registration, charter or similar form of authorization that is required by law and that is issued for the purpose of operating a business in this state.
(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 or nonimmigration visa, including photo identification, a valid birth certificate, a valid passport, a valid photo identification card issued by a government agency, a valid work permit or supervision permit authorized by the Division of Labor, a valid permit issued by the Department of Justice or other valid document providing evidence of legal residence or authorization to work in the United States.
(d) For purposes of enforcing the provisions of this article, and notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the commissioner or his or her authorized representative may access information maintained by any other state agency, including, but not limited to, the Bureau of Employment Programs and the Division of Motor Vehicles, for the limited purpose of confirming the validity of a worker's legal status or authorization to work. The commissioner shall promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to safeguard against the release of any confidential or identifying information that is not necessary for the limited purpose of enforcing the provisions of this article.
(b) Any employer who knowingly violates the provisions of section three of this article by employing, hiring, recruiting or referring an unauthorized worker is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, is subject to the following penalties:
(1) For a first offense, a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each violation;
(2) For a second offense, a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 for each violation;
(3) For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or confinement in jail for not less than thirty days nor more than one year, or both.
(c) Any employer who knowingly and willfully provides false records as to the legal status or authorization to work of any employee to the commissioner or his or her authorized representative is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail not more than one year or fined not more than $2,500, or both.
(d) Any employer who knowingly and willfully and with fraudulent intent sells, transfers or otherwise disposes of substantially all of the employer's assets for the purpose of evading the record-keeping requirements of section four of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail not more than one year or fined not more than $10,000, or both.
(1) Permanently revoke or file an action to revoke any license held by the employer; or
(2) Suspend a license or move for a suspension of any license held by the employer for a specified period;
(b) The order shall contain the reasons for the revocation or suspension and the revocation or suspension periods. Further, the order shall give the procedures for requesting a hearing. The person shall be advised in the order that because of the receipt of the record of conviction by the commissioner a presumption exists that the person named in the record of conviction is the person named in the commissioner's order and this constitutes sufficient evidence to support a revocation or suspension and that the sole purpose for the hearing held under this section is for the person requesting the hearing to present evidence that he or she is not the person named in the record of conviction. A copy of the order shall be forwarded to the person by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. No revocation or suspension shall become effective until ten days after receipt of a copy of the order.
(b) If after the time period allowed under subsection (a) of this section the employer is unable to produce the required documents to satisfy the commissioner that there is no violation of this article, the commissioner may issue a citation to the employer. Each citation shall be in writing on a standard form as prescribed by the commissioner and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including a reference to the provision of this article alleged to have been violated. Each citation issued under this section or a copy or copies thereof shall be prominently presented to a magistrate or circuit judge in the county where the violation occurred.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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