West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed an executive order declaring a State of Emergency Friday.
The State of Emergency involves staffing at West Virginia’s juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities.
According to a release, state personnel rules cap the amount of annual leave that public employees can carry over from one calendar year to the next.
Annual leave in excess of that cap must be used during the year it is earned or it expires.
But vacancies at West Virginia’s prisons, regional jails and juvenile facilities have required staff to work overtime throughout 2017, leaving them unable to take their use-or-lose annual leave.
Gov. Justice has issued an executive order allowing these employees to carry all unused annual leave forward into 2018.
“The State recognizes that these employees are subject to unused annual leave expiring at the end of this calendar year, and that they have not been able or permitted to use the annual leave that they have accrued, through no fault of their own,” Gov. Justice
The executive order applies to all correctional officers and employees of the Division of Corrections, Regional Jail Authority and Division of Juvenile Services.
At just the Huttonsville Correctional Center, the governor’s action rescues nearly 600 hours of hard-earned leave. Throughout Juvenile Services, the executive order will preserve more than 2,000 hours of annual leave or enough for nearly 52 weeks.
The three agencies are part of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.