Arbitration can be a less expensive, relatively simple alternative to formal court litigation. Policy at the federal level clearly supports the ability of contracting parties to choose arbitrators over judges to resolve disputes. Regardless, many state courts find creative ways to avoid contractual arbitration clauses. Consider a recent case heard twice by the West Virginia (WV) Supreme Court of Appeals—the case of Schumacher Homes v. Spencer, which determined the enforceability of a WV arbitration clause in the parties’ contract.
Giving advance notice before pay change may not be in the forefront the mind of an employer. Sometimes, an employer’s attempt to navigate one new rule, regulation or law results in action that is governed by a completely different set of rules, regulations, or laws. Such was the case with proposed changes in federal labor laws under an Obama-era United States Department of Labor (DOL) proposed “final rule” that would have increased the minimum salary for exempt employees. Anticipating that new rule, some employers adjusted employee pay, hours, or exempt status before the rule was to take effect. In doing so, West Virginia employers may have forgotten their own state’s law requiring advance notice to employees before a pay change.
A common question presented to workers’ compensation attorneys involves how to handle psychiatric workers’ compensation claims. A 2012 opinion of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals illustrates one approach to deciding this difficult question.
The law setting prevailing wages in West Virginia has been a source of controversy through the years. Some argue that the law inflates the cost of West Virginia public construction contracts. Others argue that the law benefits local workers and companies, evening the playing field with out-of-state contractors. In 2016, the tables turned when the West Virginia Legislature repealed the prevailing wages law. Now, both sides will test their arguments.
With the rise of rideshare services in West Virginia (WV), or transportation network companies ("TNCs"), better known as companies like Uber and Lyft, concern over financial responsibility became an important topic. The most similar legislation at the time would be the regulation on taxi cabs and taxi stands. This wasn’t a good specification of what the TNC drivers should be involved with for regulations. New bills were being introduced to find more appropriate regulations.