Wage & Hour Undocumented Workers
For several years West Virginia has been losing vital revenues in a time of increasing budget deficits because of the illegal hiring practices of some state employers. Undocumented workers, whether U.S. citizens or illegal aliens have become “at home” in our state, especially within the construction industry.
To address this growing problem, in March of 2002 the WV State legislature passed Senate Bill 560 “Reporting of Employment of Alien Workers” (State Code Chapter 21-1B), stating… “The legislature finds that employers have the responsibility to verify the legal employment status of all persons who come into their employ and to report their employment to the appropriate governmental agencies.”
Under this new law, employers are prohibited from hiring undocumented workers and can be penalized for doing so. Employers owe a duty to the residents of West Virginia to uphold the intent and integrity of the general workforce due to the potential loss of revenue to the state by loss of taxes, unemployment premiums and workers compensation premiums.”
Employers found to be in violation of the new statute could be fined up to $1,000 for each violation for the first offense, and up to $5,000 per violation for subsequent offenses. Language changes to the new statute were put into effect by the legislature in 2004, and the amended law became effective June 13, 2004.