§31-20-27. Employees of Regional Jail Authority; priority of hiring; civil service coverage.

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the authority, when hiring employees to complete the approved staffing plan of a regional jail shall do so at a salary and with benefits consistent with the approved plan of compensation of the Division of Personnel, created under section five, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code. All persons employed under this subsection shall be placed in the civil service system as covered employees. On and after the first day of January, two thousand eight, the executive director, of the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority; all employees within the office of the executive director and all regional jail administrators are exempt from coverage under the classified service.

(b) Persons employed under the provisions of this subsection shall be employed at a salary and with benefits consistent with the approved plan of compensation of the Division of Personnel, created under section five, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code. All persons employed under this subsection shall also be covered by the policies and procedures of the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Board created under section one, article three, chapter six-c of this code.

(c) Not withstanding the provisions of section ten, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code, and any rule promulgated thereunder, on and after the first day of July, two thousand seven, any person applying for employment with the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority shall be hired based on passage of the correctional officer examination without regard to his or her position on the correctional officer register and shall be placed in the civil service system as covered employees: Provided, That no such person shall be hired before an otherwise qualified person on a preference register.