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Maryland Workers Compensation

Maryland Workers Compensation


Understanding the Maryland Workers Compensation Laws

If it’s an accident that put that worker out for a few weeks, there has to be some form of compensation available….

There Is: It’s Called Workers Compensation Insurance in Maryland

Any business can acquire it. Better yet, any business should acquire it. It’s actually against the law not to have it.

There are certain facts about Maryland workers compensation laws everyone needs to know, though. While a business can carry workers compensation insurance in Maryland, a prospective employee needs to know exactly what constitutes workers compensation.

Cover Injuries

Keep this mind seriously: not all injuries would be covered. Even if the particular injury occurred “during the job.”

According to Maryland workers compensation laws, the injury has to be an “accident” that arose from the employment. Not just an accident that happened during employment.

Here are some specific examples of accidents happening during employment that wouldn’t apply to those specific Maryland workers compensation laws:

1. Bad Indigestion During Break Time

2. Migraines While Filing Paperwork

3. Vomiting From the Stomach Flu While Working a Hi-Lo

Those are just examples.

In contrast, Maryland workers compensation laws would look favorably on….

1. Slipping and Falling and Getting a Concussion From Materials on the Floor

2. Hazardous Chemicals From the Job Getting on the Skin and Causing Damage

3. A Back Injury Due to Constant Movement Required of the Job

See the difference? The injury has to be a direct result of something that happened while on the job. If a gymnastics instructor dislocated his shoulder due to spotting a student, that would count – because it arose from the job description. It’s something that can conceivably happen because of what the job entails.

Understand Also Who Maryland Workers Compensation Laws Cover

Employer-employee relationships aren’t the only standard in Corporate America, so this is very important.

What about independent contractors? How are they covered for anything? What about sole proprietorships or partnerships? How does that work?

If a business has only one ‘employee’ who also happens to be the owner, what happens if that owner/employee gets into an accident? Is he/she covered by Maryland workers compensation laws?

This is what the law states: workers compensation insurance in Maryland will only cover employees.

That means there must be an employer-employee relationship somewhere in there for workers compensation insurance in Maryland to cover injuries. This is pretty basic: independent contractors are not employees. Therefore workers compensation insurance in Maryland won’t apply to those contractors.

Furthermore, if the business is a sole proprietary, your common workers compensation insurance in Maryland won’t be sufficient. However, there is a statutory procedure available to establish coverage for an employer acting as an employee in his or her own business.

Know What You’re Dealing With

There’s no black and white when it comes to workers compensation. So know what to expect if you’re facing an injury during work. Is it just an injury that occurred during work but had nothing to do with your work? Or is it an injury that occurred because of your work?


Wisconsin Workers Compensation

Wisconsin Workers Compensation


Understanding Wisconsin Workers Compensation Laws

If there’s one thing you need to understand about Wisconsin workers compensation laws, it’s this: it’s all about injuries and accidents. Oftentimes, these Wisconsin workers compensation laws relate well with social security benefits, but with more money. Why?

Workers Compensation is essentially you getting paid for work you would do if you weren’t injured somehow. Sort of the same thing as unemployment benefits.

In addition, every business requires what’s called “workers compensation insurance” in Wisconsin in the event that accidents and/or injuries occur that would put an employee out of work for a time.

There are certain details you have to keep in mind in regards to Wisconsin workers compensation laws:

Some Things You Need to Know

In regards to the Wisconsin workers compensation laws, a typical program with benefits would include two different time periods:

1. The Temporary Disability Period

2. The Permanent Disability Period

For purposes of Wisconsin workers compensation laws, a “disability” refers not only to an actual disability – such as a long-term condition or disease – but also a disability resulting from an accident or injury – such as a broken leg or arm.

The Period that’s temporary implies that there’s what’s called a “healing plateau,” common rhetoric that’s typical of workers compensation insurance in Wisconsin. Once the recovery has reached a certain point where an individual has become ‘capable’ of working again (but not fully healed). Those types of benefits, temporary benefits, would be called TTD benefits (Temporary Total Disability). Generally speaking, workers compensation insurance in Wisconsin lists TTD benefits would be about 2/3 of what an injured person would be making in income without that injury.

Upon reaching that healing plateau, though, TTD benefits turn into “PPD” benefits with workers compensation insurance in Wisconsin. PPD simply means Permanent Partial Disability.

This is a type of worker’s comp that’s limited in duration and only amounts to about $150/week. Those numbers, however, depend on the year on which the injury occurred. Length of time of these benefits under workers compensation insurance in Wisconsin does depend on the permanent disability rating, which could involve several issues:

1. Brain Injuries

2. Neck and Back Injuries

3. Leg Injuries

Think of it this way: any injury that results in some kind of permanent damage would fall under “PPD” for workers compensation insurance in Wisconsin.

What Constitutes a Workers Comp Injury?

This is where it gets tricky….

Conceivably, anyone can fall into some kind of accident and/or injury anywhere: home, street, vacation, and of course work.

What would constitute a legitimate claim on workers compensation? The legal way of wording it would be an accident or injury that happened as a result of the job. Not necessarily during a job. A qualified workers comp attorney would help a ton in figuring out if an injury resulting from some kind of accident actually qualifies.

One way of looking at it is if the injury involved something the job requires – such as climbing a ladder in a manufacturing warehouse. It’s required of the job, so therefore an accident occurring as a result of performing that job would qualify.

However, getting the flu from something in the job – a virus floating around in the air – has nothing to do with the job. It wouldn’t qualify.


Maryland Overtime Laws

Maryland Overtime Laws


Understanding the Maryland Overtime Laws

It’s important to have a good understanding of those MD overtime laws, because you just might have to deal with overtime pay, especially if the employer hasn’t paid any.

The Lowdown on Maryland Overtime Laws: the Hourly Rate

The basis behind MD overtime laws is that every hour worked past 40 hours in a workweek is entitled to overtime pay.

What is overtime pay? First off, let’s deal with an ‘hourly rate.’ Here are a couple things to consider:

1. Overtime Pay Is  1 ½ Times the Regular Rate of Pay

2. Example: Employee Gets Paid $7/hour, Works 50 Hours in One Week….

That would be an extra ten hours of work in that week. Simply multiply 7 with 1 ½, and that’s the overtime pay. It should be $10.50 per hour. Take that new rate and multiply that with 10 hours, and that should be the overtime pay for that week.

It should be an extra $105 into the paycheck for the week. That’s how MD overtime laws are applied.

Maryland Overtime Laws: What About a ‘Piece’ Rate?

Yes, even Maryland overtime laws would cover this type of wage.

A ‘piece’ rate is essentially a per-product wage, rather than a per-hour wage. In other words, if you worked in manufacturing and produced 50 bottles of perfume a day at a rate of $7 per bottle, you’d make $350/day.

Maryland overtime laws, though, have an easy formula to apply.

The MD overtime laws application on piecework can be determined by simply dividing the total weekly earnings with the total number of hours worked. You have to keep in mind that it’s all about hours here. Not hourly wage. At least in this case.

So for example: if a worker produced those 50 bottles a day at $7 per bottle – but had to work 55 hours in one week at that rate – simply dividing the total earnings for the week (which would be $1,750) by the number 55 would give you the ‘hourly rate.’ Roughly, that would be $31.81 an hour.

Since the worker worked an additional 15 hours of overtime, you take half of $31.81 (which would be roughly $15.90) and multiply that amount with 15 for the overtime pay.

The result would be an additional $238.50 on top of the standard paycheck for that month.

What About Salary Under MD Overtime Laws?

Typically, salaried employees don’t apply to the Maryland overtime law. There are, however, some exceptions in regards to the Maryland overtime law….

There are cases where the Maryland overtime law applies when an employee works well beyond that 40-hour workweek.

Let’s give an example of how the Maryland overtime law would apply: let’s say that an employer pays an employee $600 a week regardless of hours. It’s a salary. What happens when the employee is then required to work beyond those standard 40 hours? It becomes an overtime issue handled by the Maryland overtime law.

What then happens is you take, say, a 60-hour workweek for this particular issue and divide the number 600 with it. You end up with the number 10. That’s the ‘hourly rate’ for that particular week.

An employee can pursue overtime pay in that respect by taking half of that rate – which would be $5 – multiplying that with the number of overtime hours (which is 20).

The answer would be $100. That would be the overtime pay allowed under law for a $600/week salary.


Maryland Labor Laws Breaks

Maryland Labor Laws Breaks


Understanding the Maryland Labor Laws on Breaks 

Specifically with Maryland labor laws on breaks, there’s an act that provides a bit more: the Flexible Leave Act.

This Act under MD labor laws on breaks actually prohibits any employer in Maryland from any of these actions:

1. Discharge

2. Demotion

3. Suspension

4. Discipline

5. Discrimination

This was an Act under Maryland labor laws on breaks effective back in October 1 of 2008: Chapter 644 of the Maryland labor laws, to be exact.

That’s Obviously the Large Scale in Terms of Maryland Labor Laws on Breaks. What About Smaller?

By standard Maryland labor laws on breaks, employers must offer breaks to employees under the age of 18. Every five hours require a 30-minute break.

Keep in mind that this Maryland labor law on breaks only applies to employees under that age limit. Once an employer deals with employees over 18, the Maryland labor law on breaks actually doesn’t require employers to offer any breaks.

The Specifics of the Flexible Leave Act Under MD Labor Laws on Breaks

The important statement of Maryland labor law on breaks to keep in mind as far as breaks are concerned is that the Act authorizes all employees with employers with a workforce of at least 15 to utilize what’s called leave with pay specifically for an illness in the immediate family.

That “leave with pay” can be characterized as:

1. Sick Leave

2. Vacation Time

3. Compensatory Time

And in regard to “immediate family,” a child, spouse, or other parent would apply under these MD labor laws on breaks.

Questions Many May Have About the Act

1. Does the employee have a right to decide which type of “leave with pay” to utilize?

Yes. This is a Maryland labor law on breaks that any employee can utilize, giving the employee the right to some compensation due to the illness, whatever it may be.

2. What about “leave with pay” accrued before October 1, 2008?

The Act is retroactive. That simply means an employee can log hours from leave for an illness even before the Act was put into Maryland labor law on breaks. However….

3. Does the Act count paid leave collected before October 1, 2008?

It’s important to understand that this Act applies to employers already providing paid leave. So any absence from work prior to this date that’s already been paid under the company’s policy can’t be accrued for additional wages under the state Act.

4. Can an employer still require an employee to abide by certain company policies, such as “notice prior to sick leave”?

Most definitely. As long as the company policies, whatever they may be, don’t conflict with the actual MD labor laws on breaks, those policies are still in effect. If it just so happens that the company policy for paid leave is equal to or greater than the amount stipulated by the Act, the company’s policy stands firm and is honored by the MD labor laws on breaks.

How It Works With the Federal and Medical Leave Act

They’re similar in that they provide those benefits – but the Maryland Act additionally offers compensation with it. The Federal Act simply protects a worker from losing the job due to the leave.

You can say that both Acts work together to ensure the rights of the employee in the best possible fashion.


Maryland Employee Rights

Maryland Employee Rights


Understanding Your Maryland Employee Rights

Know that you do have various employee rights, like minimum wage, overtime, employee safety rights, and wrongful termination. And it’s important to know your Maryland employee rights.

Basic Various Employee Rights to Know About, Like Wrongful Termination and Employee Safety Rights

Part of the lawful hiring process won’t allow discrimination. The same goes for wrongful termination regarding Maryland employee rights.

The law values certain protected characteristics, which shouldn’t have any bearing on the hiring process, because it’s discrimination.

Employers by law must uphold employee safety rights. It’s important for employees to know their employee safety rights. Along with employee safety rights are the right to employee privacy and personnel files. Employee privacy and personnel files falls in line with First Amendment issues.

Employee privacy and personnel files also influence the hiring process. In particular, these aspects are unlawful to consider as part of the hiring process.

1. Marital Status

2. Family Plans

3. Drug/Alcohol Use

4. National Origin

That hiring process is of a personal nature, promoting discrimination, and disobeying the law of employee privacy and personnel files. The same for wrongful termination.

Various employee rights even regulate background checks. The background check has to be relevant to the job itself, or else discrimination ensues and employee privacy and personnel files are sacrificed again. For instance: no employer can base the decision on a background check for….

1. Criminal, Educational, Military and Medical Records

2. Bankruptcies

3. Workers’ Compensation

4. Credit History

Those kinds of decisions also apply to wrongful termination as well as discrimination.

What About Specific Maryland Employee Rights, Like Fair Pay and Equal Pay?

Maryland employee rights really don’t differ from the norm, but there are some aspects to keep in mind, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

Maryland employee rights will include unpaid time off from work for up to 12 weeks for these issues:

1. Birth/Infant Care

2. Adoption/Foster Care

3. Serious Employee Health

4. Spouse, Child or Parent Healthcare

As for minimum wage? Currently, we’re looking at $7.25 per hour for full-time work minimum wage. There’s talk of that amount for minimum wage being raised for next year as well.

As with the rest of the states, fair pay and equal pay is also a lawful requirement. The basis for fair pay and equal pay is that every worker is entitled to the same standard.

Drug tests for job applicants are also lawful. However, a worker is entitled to refuse drug tests for job applicants provided that the worker realizes the job is now an impossibility. By law, too, an employer isn’t required to turn down an employee based on positive drug tests for job applicants.

Understanding Your Various Employee Rights, Like Minimum Wage and Fair Pay and Equal Pay, and Drug Tests for Job Applicants

So you have an interview for a job? Understand the need for drug tests for job applicants. Pay close attention to those questions about fair pay and equal pay. Monitor your rights. When you think about it, that keeps the entire process, the entire job market, honest and loyal to the rule of law in the United States.


Woman Says Candy Company Fired Her for Orientation, Pregnancy

 Woman Says Candy Company Fired Her for Orientation, Pregnancy

After having a complicated pregnancy and revealing that she was a lesbian among her coworkers, a woman says that Mars Chocolate North America fired her based on her sexual orientation and being a pregnant woman.  The woman, Theresa Kwiecinski, is suing in New Jersey Superior Court after experiencing what she says was discriminatory conduct prohibited by the state's anti-discrimination laws protecting women and lesbians.

Kwiecinski, who worked in the external manufacturing division of Mars Chocolate as a commercial manager, had good performance reviews with no complaints at the time when a new supervisor was hired.  At around the same time a new supervisor began to supervise Kwiecinski, she began to suffer from pregnancy complications that disabled her and made it impossible for her to continue working in her regular capacity.

As part of her normal job duties, Kwiecinski needed to go on business travel trips from time to time.  However, according to the complaint, she had asked her supervisors to limit the amount of travel she would do during pregnancy, as she was pregnant through fertility treatments and wanted to do everything possible to minimize the risk of losing the pregnancy.

While her initial supervisor had been understanding about these requirements for travel restrictions, Kwiecinski alleges that her new supervisor responded with swift retaliation.  She was given a negative performance review without cause, according to the complaint, and when her pregnancy's risk escalated, she found herself hospitalized and unable to work.  Another negative performance review followed—according to the review, she had not done enough to “prepare” for her leave when she had to be hospitalized unexpectedly for weeks during her pregnancy.

As a result of these two negative performance reviews, which were negative due to circumstances Kwiecinski claims were unavoidable due to her complicated pregnancy, she was placed on a performance improvement plan.  In her workplace, these tended to be difficult or impossible to satisfy, and were considered a slow but sure way to fire an employee.  At the time when she was terminated in late 2011, her coworkers had recently learned that she had a lesbian partner when she introduced her partner and son to them at a conference in Florida.

This conference, which happened in March, coincided with a swift change in how Kwiecinski's coworkers treated her, according to the complaint.  Both sexual orientation and pregnancy are protected classes under New Jersey's employment laws.

Source: judiciary.state.nj.us

Nebraska Labor Laws Breaks

Nebraska Labor Laws Breaks


Quick Guide to Nebraska Labor Laws on Breaks 

Nebraska Labor Law: Breaks

Nebraska labor laws on breaks are few in number and do not state that an employer needs to give breaks to a person 16 years or older who is out of high school—except for certain exemptions for assembling plants, mechanical establishments, and workshops for a 30 minute lunch break. 

There are certain provisions for mothers that are breastfeeding under NE labor laws for breaks and under federal law as well, and there are federal laws for labor unions and those practicing in certain occupations.  Several NE labor laws on breaks are discussed in this article.  

You can find more information about Nebraska labor laws on breaks under the state’s legislature (mainly Chapter 48) or under the state’s Department of Labor (DOL).  You can also research the Fair Labor Standards Act to see how certain NE labor laws on breaks are controlled by federal law.  

Specific Nebraska Labor Law on Breaks for Breastfeeding

There is no specific Nebraska labor law on breaks for mothers that are breastfeeding, but employers are required to provide new mothers with breaks under federal law.  Additionally, several state laws address breastfeeding and indirectly apply to NE labor laws for breaks.  

For example, Bill #197 that was approved on March 10, 2011 states that a mother is allowed to breastfeed a child in any public or private location they are otherwise authorized to be.  So, this bill applies to Nebraska labor laws on breaks, and under federal law, the employer is required to provide a safe and clean location for expressing breast milk.  

Does Nebraska labor law on breaks require holidays, vacation, or sick time?

NE labor laws on breaks state that an employer is not entitled to provide the employee with vacation time, holidays, or even sick pay.  Many employers will provide employers with such benefits to improve the efficiency within the workplace, and an employee has the right to enter into bargaining agreements with an employer according to state law and Nebraska labor laws on breaks.  These NE labor laws for breaks do not apply to new parents on maternity or paternity leave. 

Child Labor and NE Labor Laws for Breaks

Nebraska labor law for breaks listed above do not necessarily apply to a minor under the age of 16.  Minors 16 or older operate under the same Nebraska labor laws as workers 18 or older, except that minors 16 or older may not work in certain hazardous professions.  

According to NE labor laws on breaks under the state’s DOL, the following conditions apply to minors between the age of 14 and 15: 

• may not work more than 8 hours a day, unless exempt from Nebraska labor laws on breaks because of working for family and/or in agriculture

• may not work more than 48 hours a week unless exempt because of Nebraska labor law for breaks

• may not work before 6:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m.

There are federal laws that overrule specific Nebraska labor law on breaks as well.  If a federal law and Nebraska labor law on breaks apply in the same situation, the more restrictive law must be observed by the employer.  

If an employer disregards NE labor laws on breaks for minors or any other person obligated to take breaks, there may heavy fines and penalties for such violations.  If a minor is engaged in certain professions like agriculture on a family farm, some Neberaska labor laws on breaks may not apply.  


Nebraska Employee Rights

Nebraska Employee Rights


Quick Guide to Nebraska Employee Rights

Nebraska Employee Rights

There are several public resources for Nebraska employee rights involving various employee rights in minimum wage, fair pay and equal pay, the hiring process, safety standards, and more.  The revised statutes provide a great reference, and the Department of Labor offers helpful information about the majority of employment regulations.

Nebraska Employee Rights in the Hiring Process

There are multiple federal laws and Nebraska employee rights that protect an applicant during the hiring process and most of these laws protect the applicant against discrimination, unlawful drug testing, and access to personal files. 

For example, §48-1906 states that drug testing results during the hiring process cannot be released to the public unless the applicant wishes to hand over such results.  There are also multiple federal laws and NE statutes that make an employer protect certain information about the employer during the hiring process.

Nebraska employee rights within the hiring process are controlled by the following federal laws and more: 

• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which protects Nebraska employee rights in the hiring process dealing with race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and more) 

• Age Discrimination Act of 1963 (which protects Nebraska employee rights for those who are 40 years or older)

• Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (which protects a disabled person’s rights in federal, state, and local sectors)

• Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (which protects Nebraska employee rights against discrimination based on genetic information about the employee) 

Fair Pay and Equal Pay

There are also employee rights that cover various employee rights in minimum wage and fair pay and equal pay.  Some of these rights are listed below: 

The Fair Pay and Equal Pay Acts

These acts prohibit sex-based discrimination within the same job.  The Fair Pay and Equal Pay Acts also prohibit an employer from paying employees of equal experience and skill different wages based on sex or any categories under discrimination laws.  

New federal bills have reached the Senate as of June of 2012 for stricter standards within fair pay and equal pay, but as of now, the bill has been blocked.  You will find updated information on this website once the bill is eventually passed or thrown out.  

Various Employee Rights with Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in Nebraska is $7.25 per hour.  Various employee rights in minimum wage laws allow the employee to negotiate their wage or make a claim against unfair wages, and employees receiving minimum wage operate under the same overtime rules as people with higher pay rates.  

Refer to the article on this website titled, “Quick Guide to Minimum Wage in NE” for more information on various employee rights in minimum wage laws. You can also refer to the state’s DOL about more information on various employee rights in minimum wage. 

If you believe your Nebraska employee rights have been violated, including various employee rights in minimum wage, fair pay and equal pay, the hiring process, or any other aspect of the workplace, you should never be afraid to receive proper compensation from the employer.  Nebraska employee rights under the hiring process, various employee rights under minimum wage laws, fair pay and equal pay, and others are protected under whistleblower laws if you decide to bring suit against an employer.


West Virginia Overtime Laws

West Virginia Overtime Laws


Quick Guide to WV Overtime Laws 

West Virginia Overtime Law

West Virginia overtime laws are provided under the state’s legislature, and most employees are covered by these WV overtime laws except for certain exceptions. 

Under §21-5C-3 of the state’s code on West Virginia overtime law, an employee must work at least 40 hours in a workweek before receiving one and one-half (1 ½) times the hourly wage.  Employers and employees may enter a bargaining agreement that overtime cannot be paid until after a certain amount of hours in a workday, and other sections of the WV overtime laws are discussed throughout this article as well. 

You will find information in this article about Nevada overtime law on overtime minimum wage, wage claims for violations of WV overtime laws, other state laws, and more.  

What is the minimum overtime wage under West Virginia overtime laws?

According to West Virginia overtime laws on minimum wage, the current overtime minimum wage is $10.88 for nonexempt employees under minimum wage laws.  If you have worked more than 40 hours a week or a certain amount of hours in a day—unless you’re in a certain profession—your employer is required to pay you overtime rates according to West Virginia overtime laws. 

If you believe your employer has violated WV overtime laws, you will find information about filing a claim at the end of this article.  

What Employees are Exempt from West Virginia Overtime Law for Overtime Wages?

Certain employers are exempt from paying full overtime rates under West Virginia overtime law and under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and these exemptions under federal law are listed below:

• executive, administrative, or professional employees

• outside sales employees

• certain skill computer professionals

• employees within certain seasonal amusement

• seamen employed on foreign vessels

• switchboard operators 

• employees engaged in fishing operations unless covered by West Virginia overtime laws

• newspaper deliverers 

• farms workers unless covered by West Virginia overtime law

• casual babysitters

• certain commissioned employees in retail establishments

• certain transportation employees

• certain railroad workers or air carrier employees

• certain broadcasters unless covered by West Virginia overtime laws and minimum wage laws

• domestic service workers, but may receive full overtime wages according to WV overtime laws if they live outside the home

If a person has not obtained their high school diploma, they may not be able to receive full overtime wages according to West Virginia overtime law.  Full-time students may not be able to receive full overtime wages under West Virginia overtime laws, and minors cannot receive overtime because West Virginia overtime law prohibits minors working more than 40 hours a week. 

If you believe an employer has paid you an unfair wages according to WV overtime laws, employees are first encouraged to try and settle the dispute with their employer.  You’ll want to make sure your employer has provided mandatory overtime in the bargaining agreement, and if the dispute is not resolved, refer to the following section.  

Filing a Wage Claim for Violation of West Virginia Overtime Law

If you believe your employer has violated West Virginia overtime laws, you should regard the link

The document listed above explains the entire wage claim process for wages and violations of WV overtime laws.


West Virginia Labor Laws Breaks

West Virginia Labor Laws Breaks


Detailed Guide to WV Labor Laws on Breaks

West Virginia Labor Laws: Breaks

West Virginia labor law for breaks is mainly found in Title 21 and 42 of the state’s revised code.  Both of these titles focusing on West Virginia labor laws for breaks are discussed within this article.  You can find more information about WV labor laws on breaks by searching the state’s revised code, and you can also visit the West Virginia Division of Labor for more information on other labor laws: 

Specific West Virginia Labor Law on Breaks and Meal Periods

West Virginia is one of the few states in the U.S. that defines and requires specific breaks.  Several different West Virginia labor laws on breaks are discussed below that address the majority of employees:

§21-3-10a West Virginia Labor Laws on Meal Breaks

This section of WV labor laws on breaks states that any employee who works six or more hours a day is required to have a meal break of at least 20 minutes.  Additionally, according to this specific West Virginia labor law on breaks and others, a meal period of 20 minutes or more may be unpaid.  

§42-5-2 West Virginia Labor Laws on Rest Periods

This specific section of WV labor laws on breaks indicates that any rest period from 5 to 20 minutes must be counted as hours worked.  This West Virginia labor law on breaks is meant to increase productivity within the workplace.  

21-6-7 Child Labor and West Virginia Labor Laws on Breaks

This specific West Virginia labor law for breaks provides guidelines for child labor.  The conditions within these WV labor laws for breaks do not apply to workers over the age of 16 because their employment is considered adult employment except for restrictions in certain hazardous trades.  

If a child is under the age of 16, these West Virginia labor laws on breaks declare that they employee is required to have a meal period of at least 30 minutes while working five or more hours continuously.  If an employer fails to recognize any of the West Virginia labor laws above, they can face serious penalties.  

WV Labor Laws on Breaks for Breastfeeding

There are no West Virginia labor laws on breaks for breastfeeding, and WV is the only state with no laws on breastfeeding in general.  However, some analysis of WV labor laws on breaks provides insight to break periods for new parents.  

According to §21-5D-4 of WV labor laws on breaks, an employer is required to give up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave time in certain situations: 

• In the event of a birth of a son or daughter, this West Virginia labor law on breaks applies

• If an employee has recently adopted, these West Virginia labor laws on breaks apply

• If a daughter or son, parent, or dependant has a serious health condition, these WV labor laws on breaks apply

Again, an employer can face serious penalties for violating a West Virginia labor law on breaks.  If you believe your rights are being denied, you should contact the WV Division of Labor.