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§21-3-14. Power of commissioner as to witnesses; prosecution of offenses; penalties; jurisdiction; exemption of coal mining operations; recovery of civil penalties.

The commissioner of labor or any authorized representative of the department of labor in the performance of any duty or the execution of any power prescribed by law shall have the power to administer oaths, certify to official acts, take and cause to be taken depositions of witnesses.

It shall be the duty of the Attorney General and the several prosecuting attorneys, upon request of the commissioner of labor or any of his authorized representatives, to prosecute any violation of the law which it is made the duty of the said commissioner of labor to enforce.

If any employer, employee, owner or other person shall violate any provision of this chapter or shall fail or refuse to perform any duty lawfully required within the time prescribed by the commissioner of labor or his authorized representatives, for which no penalty has been specifically provided, or shall fail, neglect, or refuse to obey any lawful order given, made or promulgated by the commissioner of labor or his authorized representatives, or shall interfere with, impede, or obstruct in any manner the commissioner of labor or his authorized representatives in the performance of his or their official duties, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $50, or shall be imprisoned for not exceeding six months, or both so fined and imprisoned, for each such offense; and each day such violation, omission, failure, or refusal continues shall be deemed a separate offense.

A justice of the peace shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit court and other courts having criminal jurisdiction in his county for the trial of offenses under this article. Those portions of all coal mining properties and operations which are under the supervision of the department of mines are excepted from the operation of provisions of this article.

In lieu of the penalties heretofore provided in this section, any such penalty may be recovered in a civil action in the name of the State of West Virginia.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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