Employment and Labor Laws

West Virginia

West Virginia Wage Payment Laws


Frequency of Wage Payments

An employer must pay employees at least twice every month with no more than 19 days between pay periods, unless provided by a special agreement. If an employee is absent from his or her regular place of labor and does not receive his or her wages, the employer must pay the wages due upon demand at the place where his or her wages are usually paid. WV Statute 21-5-3


Manner of Wage Payments

An employer may pay wages by:

  • cash;
  • check redeemable at face value without deduction or fee;
  • deposit into an employee’s payroll card account in a federally insured depository institution. A “payroll card account” is an account in a bank that is directly or indirectly established through an employer and to which electronic fund transfers of the employee’s wages or other compensation are made on a recurring basis. “Payroll card” means a card, code or combination thereof or other means of access to an employee’s payroll card account, by which the employee may initiate electronic fund transfers or use a payroll card to make purchases or payments. An employee must consent in writing to be paid by payroll card.
  • direct deposit or any method of depositing immediately available funds in an employee’s account in a bank, credit union or savings and loan institution.

WV Statute 21-5-3


Direct Deposit

An employer may require an employee to participate in direct deposit, however, the employee must agree to be paid by direct deposit in writing. The agreement must specifically identify the employee, the financial institution, the type of account and the account number. WV Statute 21-5-3


Payroll Card

West Virginia labor laws allow an employer to pay an employee by payroll card account. A payroll card account is an account in a federally insured depository institution that is directly or indirectly established through an employer and to which electronic fund transfers of the employee’s wages or other compensation are made on a recurring basis. Payroll card means a card, code or combination thereof or other means of access to an employee’s payroll card account, by which the employee may initiate electronic fund transfers or use a payroll card to make purchases or payments. An employee must consent in writing to be paid by payroll card.

WV Statute 21-5-3


Payment upon Separation from Employment

Employees who are fired, discharged, terminated, or laid off

West Virginia laws require employers to pay discharged employees the wages they owe them for work they performed before they were discharged on or before the next regular payday the employers would have otherwise paid the employees their wages. WV Statute 21-5-4(b)

Employers are not required to pay discharged employees on or before the next regular payday for certain fringe benefits that they owe the discharged employees pursuant to agreements between the employees and employers but, pursuant to the terms of the agreements, are to be paid at future dates or when additional conditions are met. Instead, employers must pay the discharged employees these fringe benefits according to the terms of the agreements. WV Statute 21-5-4(b) For purposes of this section, “fringe benefits” may include, but is not limited to, regular vacation, graduated vacation, floating vacation, holidays, sick leave, personal leave, production incentive bonuses, sickness and accident benefits and benefits relating to medical and pension coverage. WV Statute 21-5-1(l)

Employers may pay discharged employees their final wages by any permissible manner and through regular payment channels or, if requested by employees, by mail. Employers who pay employees their final wages by mail will be considered to have made the payment on the date the payment is postmarked. WV Statute 21-5-4(c)

Employees who quit or resign

West Virginia laws require employers to pay employees who have voluntarily quit or resigned the wages they owe them for work they performed before they quit or resigned on or before the next regular payday the employers would have otherwise paid the employees their wages. WV Statute 21-5-4(b)

Employers are not required to pay employees who have voluntarily quit or resigned on or before the next regular payday for certain fringe benefits that they owe the employees who quit or resigned pursuant to agreements between the employees and employers but, pursuant to the terms of the agreements, are to be paid at future dates or when additional conditions are met. Instead, employers must pay the employees who quit or resigned these fringe benefits according to the terms of the agreements. West Virginia Code 21-5-4(b) For purposes of this section, “fringe benefits” may include, but is not limited to, regular vacation, graduated vacation, floating vacation, holidays, sick leave, personal leave, production incentive bonuses, sickness and accident benefits and benefits relating to medical and pension coverage. WV Statute 21-5-1(l)

Employers may pay discharged employees their final wages by any permissible manner and through regular payment channels or, if requested by employees, by mail. Employers who pay employees their final wages by mail will be considered to have made the payment on the date the payment is postmarked. West Virginia Code 21-5-4(c)

Employees who are laid off

West Virginia laws require employers to pay in full employees who are laid off for any reason their wages earned at the time of the layoffs not later than the next regular payday, either through the regular pay channels or by mail if requested by the employees. WV Statute 21-5-4(d)

Employees who are suspended or resigns due to a labor dispute (strike)

West Virginia laws require employers to pay in full employees who are suspended as a result of labor disputes their wages earned at the time of the suspensions not later than the next regular payday, either through the regular pay channels or by mail if requested by the employees. WV Statute 21-5-4(d)


Wages in Dispute

West Virginia does not have any laws requiring an employer to pay an employee wages conceded to be due when involved in a wage dispute with the employee.


Deductions from Wages

An employer may not deduct any of the following from an employee’s wages unless the employee has consented:

  • shortages,
  • damages,
  • rent,
  • uniforms,
  • tools, or
  • any other necessary item.

An employer may not withhold or deduct wages from an employee’s pay check, unless:

  • required to do so by law,
  • authorized for union or club dues, pension plans, payroll savings plans, credit unions, charities and hospitalization and medical insurance; or
  • agreed to by the employee.

WV Statute 21-5-1; WV Statute 21-5-3


Uniforms, Tools, and Other Equipment Necessary for Employment

West Virginia does not have any laws prohibiting an employer from requiring an employee to purchase a uniform, tools, or other items necessary for employment.


Pre-hire Medical, Physical, or Drug Tests

West Virginia does not have any laws prohibiting an employer from requiring an applicant or employee to pay the cost of a medical examination or the cost of furnishing any records required by the employer as a condition of employment.


Notice of Wage Reduction

An employer must notify employees in writing or through a posted notice maintained in a place accessible to his employees prior to making any changes in the rate of pay, or to the day, hour, or place of payment. WV Statute 21-5-9


Statement of Wages (Pay Stub)

An employer must provide each employee a statement of wages for each pay period that contains:

  • the employee’s hourly rate of pay or salary;
  • the number of hours for which the employee is being paid;
  • the overtime rate of pay, if applicable;
  • bonus and incentive pay. if applicable; and
  • itemized deductions.

WV Statute 21-5-9; WV Admin. Code 42-5-7


Record Keeping Requirements

An employer must keep and preserve at his place of business for a period of five (5) years a written record or records for each employee of:

  • the employee’s full name or identifying symbol or number in place of a name on any record;
  • the employee’s home address;
  • the employee’s date of birth, if under 18;
  • the employee’s occupation, title, or job classification;
  • the employee’s regular pay;
  • the hours worked each workday by the employee;
  • the total hours worked each workweek by the employee; and
  • documentation of the employee’s legal status or authorization to work.

WV Statute 21-5C-5; WV Admin. Code 42-5-5


Notice Requirements

An employer must:

  • Notify employees in writing, at the time of hire of the rate of pay, and of the day, hour, and place of payment.
  • Notify employees in writing or through a posted notice maintained in a place accessible to his employees of any changes in the rate of pay or the day, hour, or place of payment.
  • Make available to his employees in writing or through a posted notice maintained in a place accessible to his employees, employment practices and policies with regard to vacation pay, sick leave, and comparable matters.

WV Statute 21-5-9; WV Admin. Code 42-5-4


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