WV Senate committee moves Tomblin’s bill on employee final pay - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV Senate committee moves Tomblin’s bill on employee final pay

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The question of when an employer should give a dismissed employee his or her final pay was a heavily debated one in the Senate Judiciary Committee March 29.

Lawmakers passed the bill, but only after much discussion.

The bill, originally proposed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, would change the current 72-hour requirement for businesses to give workers their final pay when they are dismissed. The current penalty for missing that 72-hour mark is payment of three times the original amount owed.

The bill, as it was first introduced, would give employers until the next scheduled pay day, and the Senate Labor Committee changed that to be within three business days or the next pay day, whichever came first.

The version of the bill the full Senate received struck a compromise with the Tomblin administration, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and labor unions to allow employers four business days or the next pay day – whichever came first.

Kenny Perdue with the AFL-CIO told lawmakers the variety of payroll options for businesses makes it hard to meet certain tight turnarounds.

Brenda Nichols Harper with the state Chamber said Tomblin's original bill reflected the national standard, and the current law does not reflect payroll and pay advances such as direct deposit or even the widespread use of salary.

"No employer wants to continue an overhanging relationship that has been extinguished," Harper said. "They want to do what's right; they want to comply with the law."

Tomblin's Legislative Director Jason Pizatella told lawmakers the 72-hour language created problems when holidays and weekends were involved, for small businesses, bigger businesses and state government.

"We're not doing this in any way to insinuate that people aren't getting paid," Pizatella explained. "We know employers want to pay, and want to pay in a timely manner."

The bill is now in front of the full Senate.