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Labor and Employment Archives

Mandatory Post-Accident Drug Testing in WV

Do you routinely test employees for illegal drugs and alcohol when they are involved in a workplace accident? If so, you may incur the wrath of both the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the West Virginia (WV) Supreme Court. OSHA believes that employees may be afraid to report workplace injuries and illness for fear of retribution from their employers. That is why it has promulgated the "Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses," which may impact mandatory post-accident drug testing in WV and elsewhere.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace in WV

In recent years, many states and municipalities across the United States have sought to enact statutes and ordinances to include "sexual orientation" amongst the classes traditionally protected from discrimination. West Virginia (WV) has followed suit. WV Senate Bill 77, introduced on February 15, 2017, similarly sought to amend the West Virginia Human Rights Act and the West Virginia Fair Housing Act to include "sexual orientation" as a protected class and prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace in WV, in places of public accommodation, and in housing.

A Weakened WV Senate Bill 224 Lightened Wage Bond Requirements for Some Employers

In 2017, the West Virginia (WV) Legislature proposed legislation eliminating the requirement for wage payment bonds for some employers. Instead, the Legislature passed a weakened WV Senate Bill 224, amending the Wage Payment and Collection Act to keep the wage bond requirement but shortening the period such bonds are required.

Trust but Verify: The Cold War's Contribution to Compliance with Company Policies

President Ronald Reagan wanted to learn a few Russian proverbs. An advisor had told him that Russians speak in proverbs and it might be handy to know a few as the United States and the U.S.S.R. negotiated arms treaties during the Cold War. One Russian proverb became President Reagan's favorite: "Doveryai, no proveryai" or "trust, but verify." At one joint press conference with his Soviet counterpart, the President repeated the proverb in both Russian and English. Communist Party General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev laughed and said, "You repeat that at every meeting." President Reagan smiled and said, "I like it."

How to Handle Employee Theft, aka You Caught the Thief--Now What?

A trusted employee has stolen from your company, and you need help determining what to do next. Read this article from experienced WV labor and employment attorney Steven Snyder to learn how to handle employee theft.

West Virginia Right to Work Law Finally Goes into Effect

The West Virginia Supreme Court has cleared the way for the state's right to work law to finally go into effect. This law, called the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, prevents employers from entering into agreements with unions that require employees to either join a union or pay a service fee to the union. The law was enacted early in 2016, right after the Republican party took control of the state's legislature. On September 15, 2017, the state's high court struck down a preliminary injunction that had prevented the enforcement of the Act, thereby paving the way for the West Virginia right to work law to go into effect.

Speakers on WV Law Available to Present about Employment Issues after a Workplace Injury

On September 12, 2017, a group of three Jenkins Fenstermaker attorneys had the honor of presenting to the West Virginia Rural Water Association (WVRWA) at their 32nd Annual Training and Technical Conference in Charleston, West Virginia (WV). Their presentation was entitled, "Accidents Will Happen: Employment Issues After a Workplace Injury."

West Virginia's new drug testing law takes effect on Friday

Starting this Friday, West Virginia employers will have much more leeway to test their employees for illegal drugs- but only if they also institute new procedural safeguards. That is because this Friday, July 7th, marks the effective date for the West Virginia Safer Workplace Act.

It's Your Choice: Pay Attention to Anonymous Complaints Now or Pay Your Defense Attorney Later

Should your company pay any attention to anonymous complaints? I recently heard two people say that anonymous complaints are not worth the paper they are written on. These comments came during a presentation I gave on employee handbooks. I was outlining the elements of a good handbook policy on sexual harassment. One element is a channel for employees to anonymously report harassment.
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