Associated Press Published

State Lawmakers Vote to Eliminate Wage Bonds

West Virginia’s House of Delegates has followed the Senate and voted to eliminate the state requirement that construction and mining companies post bonds to protect worker wages if they’ve operated in West Virginia less than five years.

The House Bill, approved 85-14 on Monday, would remove the bonding requirement but increase one possible criminal penalty for employers who knowingly relocate or dispose of assets to deprive workers of wages and fringe benefits.

The minimum fine for any person, firm or corporation convicted of the felony would remain $5,000 with the possible maximum fine doubling to $60,000.

In the past 10 years, the Division of Labor reports having cashed and paid $1 million in wages and benefits from bonds by 40 deadbeat companies.