WEST virginia legislature
2019 regular session
Senate Bill 608
By Senators Beach, Romano, Prezioso, and Jeffries
14, 2019; Referred
to the Committee on Government Organization]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §29-6-4a, relating to requiring the Commissioner of the Division of Highways and the Director of the Division of Personnel to collaborate and develop a special hiring procedure for hourly personnel positions in the Division of Highways; establishing requirements for the special hiring procedure; exempting the Division of Highways and the Division of Personnel from classified service hiring procedures upon implementation of the special hiring process; providing exceptions; establishing reporting requirements; and requiring emergency and legislative rulemaking.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 6. Civil Service System.
§29-6-4a. Special Appointment Procedures for Division of Highways Personnel.
(a) Legislative Intent. --
The purpose of this section is to allow the Division of Highways to appoint qualified applicants to vacant hourly personnel positions in the division in a timely manner, in order to ensure that the Division of Highways maintains an adequate workforce to maintain safe roadways for the citizens of West Virginia.
(b) Definitions. -- As used in this section:
(1) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Division of Highways or his or her designee;
(2) “Director” means the Director of the Division of Personnel or his or her designee; and
(3) “Division” means the Division of Highways.
(c) Development of Special Hiring Procedure; Requirements. --
(1) The commissioner and the director shall collaborate to develop a special merit-based application and appointment procedure for the employment of individuals to fill hourly personnel positions in the division.
(2) The special application and appointment procedure required by this section shall go into effect on January 1, 2020, and shall meet the following requirements:
(A) The division is not required to post a position to be filled internally for more than one week before selecting an applicant for a position; and for those positions to be filled with a candidate from outside of the division, for not more than 14 calendar days.
(B) The division may begin the process to fill the position in a timely manner to allow a new employee of the division to begin working for the division no later than one week after the division’s decision to offer a position to the new employee based upon its determination that the applicant meets minimum qualifications and is otherwise eligible for the position.
(C) The director may not change the pay grades or pay grade equivalents, of any employee classification utilized by the division without written approval of the commissioner;
(D) The division shall create and implement programs for its employees to advance within the established pay ranges of their employment classifications, including, but not limited to, approval authority and administration of the Transportation Worker Apprenticeship Program;
(E) The division shall have sole approval authority regarding employment transactions and that the director shall review employment transactions to ensure that the transactions comply with applicable state and federal law and regulation;
(F) The division is authorized to process multiple leaves of absence simultaneously, within the confines of the Oasis system; and
(G) The division shall have flexibility to utilize any and all vacant position numbers when posting to fill a vacancy and to post vacant positions utilizing multiple classifications when the commissioner determines it to be necessary and in the best interest of the agency.
(H) A vacancy shall be created when an employee goes on terminal leave shall be posted upon receipt of the notice that the employee has begun such leave.
(d) Exemption from Regular Application and Appointment Requirements. --
(1) Effective January 1, 2020, the division and the director shall follow the special procedure developed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section when seeking applications and making appointments to hourly personnel positions within the division.
(2) When seeking applications and making appointments pursuant to the special procedure required by this section, neither the division nor the director is required to comply with Division of Personnel procedures for seeking applications and making appointments to classified service positions as provided in this article or in any other provision of this code, including those procedures promulgated by legislative rules, subject however to the following exceptions:
(A) This section does not exempt the director or the division from the requirements of sections §29-6-20 and §29-6-21 of this code, including the prohibition against favoritism, discrimination or otherwise unethical practices related to appointment; and
(B) The provisions of this section may not be applied to hiring procedures applicable to any division classified service position or employee in any manner that disqualifies the division for eligibility for any federal highway funds or assistance.
(e) On or before October 1, 2020, the commissioner shall report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance regarding the division’s progress toward compliance with the requirements of this section.
(f) The commissioner and the director shall jointly propose emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of §29A-3-15 of this code and shall also propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code as may be necessary to implement and comply with the provisions of this section.
(g) The provisions of this section shall apply notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require the Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Highways and the Director of the West Virginia Division of Personnel to collaborate to develop a special hiring process for Division of Highways positions; to exempt the West Virginia Division of Highways from regular State Personnel Board Procedures upon implementation of the special hiring process; to establish requirements for the special hiring process; and to establish reporting requirements.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.