WVC 21 -
CHAPTER 21. LABOR.
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ARTICLE 2. EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES.
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STATE EMPLOYMENT AGENCY.
§21-2-1. Purpose of agency; no fees charged.
The commissioner of labor shall maintain in connection with
his department a public agency to be known as the "state public
employment agency," for the purpose of receiving and filing
applications of persons seeking employment and of persons or firms
seeking to employ labor. There shall be no fee or compensation
charged or received, directly or indirectly, from persons applying
for employment or from those desiring to employ labor through said
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§21-2-2. Cooperation from federal government.
The commissioner of labor may accept cooperation from the
federal government in the establishment and maintenance within
the state of such employment agency.
The state of West Virginia hereby accepts the provisions and
requirements of federal act public number thirty, seventy-third
Congress, known as the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the state
department of labor is hereby designated as the state agency to
cooperate with the United States employment service, in
accordance with the terms and conditions expressed in the said
act. The treasurer of West Virginia is hereby authorized and
empowered to receive the grants of money appropriated under said
act, and for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this
section the sum of five thousand dollars, or so much thereof as
may be necessary, is hereby appropriated for each of the fiscal
years ending June thirtieth, one thousand nine hundred thirty-
four, and June thirtieth, one thousand nine hundred thirty-five,
out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.
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§21-2-3. Duty and authority of commissioner.
It shall be the duty of the commissioner of labor to
communicate with employers of labor, and said commissioner is
authorized to advertise or use such other methods and means as he
deems practicable to supply the demand of employers and to
provide employment for those who have filed their applications
with such employment agency.
PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES.
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§21-2-4."Employment agent" defined.
The term "employment agent" shall mean and include all
persons, firms, corporations or associations, excepting municipal
corporations, church and charitable associations, which furnish,
to persons seeking employment, information enabling or tending to
enable such persons to secure the same, or which furnish, to
employers seeking laborers or help of any kind, information
enabling or tending to enable such employers to secure such help,
or shall keep a register of persons seeking employment or help as
aforesaid, whether such agents conduct their operations in a
fixed place of business, on the streets, or as transients, and
also whether such operations constitute the principal business of
such agents or only as a side line or incidental to other
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§21-2-5. Rules and regulations prescribed by commissioner of
The commissioner of labor shall prescribe such rules and
regulations as may be necessary for the supervision of employment
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§21-2-6. False statements or withholding of information
No employment agent or any employee or agent thereof, shall
make any false statement to any person seeking employment knowing
the same to be false, in regard to any employment, work or
situation, its nature, location, duration, wages or salary
attached thereto, or the circumstances surrounding such
employment, work or situation. No employment agent shall falsely
or fraudulently offer or represent himself as in a position to
secure or furnish employment without having an order therefor
from an employer; and no employment agent shall misrepresent any
other material matter in connection with any employment, work or
situation he may offer or represent himself in a position to
secure, nor shall he withhold any information furnished by the
employer concerning any work.
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§21-2-7. License required; displaying license; annual tax.
No employment agent shall engage in the business for profit or
receive any fee, charge commission or other compensation, directly
or indirectly, for services as employment agent, without first
having obtained a license therefor from the state tax commissioner.
Such license shall not be issued until the commissioner of labor
shall have approved in writing the application therefor, and, when
issued, such license shall constitute a license from the state to
operate as an employment agent for compensation and shall not be
transferable. Such license shall at all times be kept posted in a
conspicuous place at the place of business of such employment
agent. Every employment agent shall pay the annual license tax
provided for in article twelve, chapter eleven of this code.
In addition to any other information required, an application
for a license under this section shall include the applicant's
social security number.
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§21-2-8. Licenses issuable only to citizens of United States.
License to operate as an employment agent shall be issued
only to citizens of the United States.
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§21-2-9. Refusal to issue license.
The state tax commissioner shall refuse to issue a license
if, upon investigation, he finds that the applicant is unfit to
engage in the business or has had a license previously revoked,
or that the business is to be conducted on or immediately
adjoining what is considered by him to be unsuitable premises, or
that any other good reason exists within the meaning of the law.
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§21-2-10. Revocation of license.
The state tax commissioner may revoke any license issued
under the provisions of this article, with or without hearing,
and may order such license to be returned for cancellation, if
the employment agent has violated any of the provisions of this
article or the rules and regulations issued thereunder, or if any
cause appears for which a license might have been refused, or if
the commissioner of labor shall, in writing, report to the tax
commissioner any such violation or cause.
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§21-2-11. Records to be kept; reports to commissioner of labor.
A record of all persons directed to employment shall be kept
by every employment agent; such records shall set forth the name,
age, nationality and material state of each applicant, and also
the name of the employer, kind of work and pay. A copy of this
record for each month shall be sent to the commissioner of labor
on or before the tenth day of the month immediately succeeding
the month covered by such record. Every employment agent shall
file with the commissioner of labor a copy of the schedule of all
fees and such other notices or information as the commissioner
may require and in such form and manner as he may prescribe.
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§21-2-12. Commissioner of labor may enter offices and examine
For the purpose of enforcing this article and the rules and
regulations issued thereunder, the commissioner of labor, or his
duly authorized agent, may at any time enter any employment
office, or place of business of an employment agent or any
premises occupied as an employment office, and may inspect the
registers, cards or other records of such employment agent.
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§21-2-13. No employment in violation of child labor or compulsory
school attendance laws.
No employment agent shall furnish employment to any child in
violation of the law regulating the labor of children or their
compulsory attendance at school.
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§21-2-14. Offenses; penalties; jurisdiction.
Any employment agent, as defined in this article, carrying
on the business of an employment agency, without first fully
complying with the provisions thereof, shall be deemed guilty of
a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not
less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars for each
offense, or the person, or any member of a firm, or the officer
or agent of any corporation, so acting as employment agent may be
imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or
both, at the discretion of the court; and any such employment
agent violating any other provision of this article or any rule
or regulation prescribed by the commissioner of labor pursuant to
the provisions of this article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor,
and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty
nor more than two hundred dollars, or the person or any member of
a firm or the officer or agent of any corporation so violating,
may be imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both fined
and imprisoned. A justice of the peace shall have concurrent
jurisdiction with the circuit court and other courts having
criminal jurisdiction for the trial of offenses under this
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§21-2-15. Employers exempt from provisions of article.
Nothing contained in this article shall apply to, nor
prevent or interfere with, any person, firm, corporation or
association employing labor for his, their or its business
carried on in this state.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session