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West Virginia Amends Wage Payment Law and Implements New Youth Work Permit Rules

West Virginia has amended its wage payment requirements on the use of payroll cards and has adopted a final rule which clarifies an employer’s obligations for ensuring proper completion of youth work permits for workers aged 14 and 15 years old.

Wage Payment Requirements

West Virginia requires employers to pay employee wages with cash, check, direct deposit or payroll card. On March 23, 2022, West Virginia amended its wage payment laws and changed several provisions regarding payroll cards. The amendments become effective June 9, 2022.

Beginning June 9, 2022, employers will no longer be required to obtain a written agreement to pay employee wages through direct deposit or payroll card. Instead, employers may mandate the use payroll cards when employees fail to provide all the information employers need to successfully set up a direct deposit of wages; however, prior to taking this action:

  • Employers must offer employees the direct deposit option before setting up a payroll card for them;
  • Employers must disclose, in writing, any applicable fees associated with the card;
  • Employees must have the ability to make at least one withdrawal or transfer from their cards per pay period, without any cost or fee, for any amount up to the amount contained in the card; and
  • Employees must be able to make unlimited withdrawals or transfers from their cards within the network of the institution that issued the card, without any cost or fee, for any amount up to the amount contained in the card.

Youth Work Permits

State law requires employers to obtain a work permit for 14- and 15-year-old employees who want to work in a permissible occupation. On March 30, 2022, West Virginia adopted a final rule to make employers responsible for ensuring the completion of work permits for employees who are minors between the ages of 14 and 15. The new rule also updates various definitions relevant to the employment of minors in the state. The new rule becomes effective on May 1, 2022.

The process for obtaining work permits requires input and agreement from each minor’s employer, parents (or legal guardian), school principal (administrator or equivalent) and the county’s superintendent’s office, and the new rule places the obligation on employers to initiate and complete the work permit application process, making them responsible for ensuring each part of the application is completed by these parties.

Next Steps for Employers

Wage Payment Requirements

Employers in West Virginia should review these amendments and update their payroll processes and procedures to ensure compliance with direct deposit and payroll card requirements by the effective date.

Youth Work Permits

West Virginia employers that hire minors who are subject to work permit requirements should become familiar with the new rule and their responsibility to ensure all parts of the application form are completed before allowing these minors to begin working. Employers should also update their hiring and onboarding processes to ensure compliance with this requirement by the effective date.

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