Many of you attended Dinsmore & Shohl’s Legal Hour on February 28, 2013 "Avoiding Certain Pitfalls When Terminating an Employee”.
A topic I addressed during the workshop was the “72 Hour Rule.” That is, I reminded you that an employer must pay a terminated employee’s wages within 72 Hours of termination. If payment is not made within 72 Hours, the employer is liable to the employee for three times that unpaid amount as liquidated damages. Recall that I provided the group with a number of examples of lawsuits in West Virginia brought by terminated employees for an employer’s failure to pay within 72 Hours.
At our Legal Hour I discussed some anticipated legislative changes to the 72 Hour Rule. The purpose of this email alert is to update those that attended of recent changes.
Senate Bill 355 was approved by the Legislature, amending the 72 Hour Rule. The statutory language now waiting for the Governor’s signature is as follows:
Whenever a person, firm or corporation discharges an employee, such person, firm or corporation shall pay the employee's wages no later than the next regular payday or four business days, whichever comes first. Payment shall be made through the regular pay channels or, if requested by the employee, by mail. For purposes of this section, “business day” means a day on which state offices are open for regular business.
It is important to note that when Senate Bill 355 becomes effective, the treble damages still remain should the employer fail to pay wages within the time set forth above. So it is important to ensure timely payment of final wages to terminated employees.
Should you have any questions on this topic, or any topic, please feel free to give us a call. We look forward to seeing you at our Legal Hour events.