West Virginia Code


Chapter 21     Entire Code




§21-2-1. Purpose of agency; no fees charged.

The commissioner of labor shall maintain in connection with his department a public agency to be known as the "state public employment agency," for the purpose of receiving and filing applications of persons seeking employment and of persons or firms seeking to employ labor. There shall be no fee or compensation charged or received, directly or indirectly, from persons applying for employment or from those desiring to employ labor through said agency.

§21-2-2. Cooperation from federal government.

The commissioner of labor may accept cooperation from the federal government in the establishment and maintenance within the state of such employment agency.

The state of West Virginia hereby accepts the provisions and requirements of federal act public number thirty, seventy-third Congress, known as the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the state department of labor is hereby designated as the state agency to cooperate with the United States employment service, in accordance with the terms and conditions expressed in the said act. The treasurer of West Virginia is hereby authorized and empowered to receive the grants of money appropriated under said act, and for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section the sum of $5,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated for each of the fiscal years ending June 30, 1934, and June 30, 1935, out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

§21-2-3. Duty and authority of commissioner.

It shall be the duty of the commissioner of labor to communicate with employers of labor, and said commissioner is authorized to advertise or use such other methods and means as he deems practicable to supply the demand of employers and to provide employment for those who have filed their applications with such employment agency.


§21-2-4."Employment agent" defined.

The term "employment agent" shall mean and include all persons, firms, corporations or associations, excepting municipal corporations, church and charitable associations, which furnish, to persons seeking employment, information enabling or tending to enable such persons to secure the same, or which furnish, to employers seeking laborers or help of any kind, information enabling or tending to enable such employers to secure such help, or shall keep a register of persons seeking employment or help as aforesaid, whether such agents conduct their operations in a fixed place of business, on the streets, or as transients, and also whether such operations constitute the principal business of such agents or only as a side line or incidental to other business.

§21-2-5. Rules and regulations prescribed by commissioner of labor.

The commissioner of labor shall prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the supervision of employment agents.

§21-2-6. False statements or withholding of information prohibited.

No employment agent or any employee or agent thereof, shall make any false statement to any person seeking employment knowing the same to be false, in regard to any employment, work or situation, its nature, location, duration, wages or salary attached thereto, or the circumstances surrounding such employment, work or situation. No employment agent shall falsely or fraudulently offer or represent himself as in a position to secure or furnish employment without having an order therefor from an employer; and no employment agent shall misrepresent any other material matter in connection with any employment, work or situation he may offer or represent himself in a position to secure, nor shall he withhold any information furnished by the employer concerning any work.

§21-2-7. License required; displaying license; annual tax.

No employment agent shall engage in the business for profit or receive any fee, charge commission or other compensation, directly or indirectly, for services as employment agent, without first having obtained a license therefor from the State Tax Commissioner. Such license shall not be issued until the commissioner of labor shall have approved in writing the application therefor, and, when issued, such license shall constitute a license from the state to operate as an employment agent for compensation and shall not be transferable. Such license shall at all times be kept posted in a conspicuous place at the place of business of such employment agent. Every employment agent shall pay the annual license tax provided for in article twelve, chapter eleven of this code.

In addition to any other information required, an application for a license under this section shall include the applicant's social security number.

§21-2-8. Licenses issuable only to citizens of United States.

License to operate as an employment agent shall be issued only to citizens of the United States.

§21-2-9. Refusal to issue license.

The State Tax Commissioner shall refuse to issue a license if, upon investigation, he finds that the applicant is unfit to engage in the business or has had a license previously revoked, or that the business is to be conducted on or immediately adjoining what is considered by him to be unsuitable premises, or that any other good reason exists within the meaning of the law.

§21-2-10. Revocation of license.

The State Tax Commissioner may revoke any license issued under the provisions of this article, with or without hearing, and may order such license to be returned for cancellation, if the employment agent has violated any of the provisions of this article or the rules and regulations issued thereunder, or if any cause appears for which a license might have been refused, or if the commissioner of labor shall, in writing, report to the Tax Commissioner any such violation or cause.

§21-2-11. Records to be kept; reports to commissioner of labor.

A record of all persons directed to employment shall be kept by every employment agent; such records shall set forth the name, age, nationality and material state of each applicant, and also the name of the employer, kind of work and pay. A copy of this record for each month shall be sent to the commissioner of labor on or before the tenth day of the month immediately succeeding the month covered by such record. Every employment agent shall file with the commissioner of labor a copy of the schedule of all fees and such other notices or information as the commissioner may require and in such form and manner as he may prescribe.

§21-2-12. Commissioner of labor may enter offices and examine records.

For the purpose of enforcing this article and the rules and regulations issued thereunder, the commissioner of labor, or his duly authorized agent, may at any time enter any employment office, or place of business of an employment agent or any premises occupied as an employment office, and may inspect the registers, cards or other records of such employment agent.

§21-2-13. No employment in violation of child labor or compulsory school attendance laws.

No employment agent shall furnish employment to any child in violation of the law regulating the labor of children or their compulsory attendance at school.

§21-2-14. Offenses; penalties; jurisdiction.

Any employment agent, as defined in this article, carrying on the business of an employment agency, without first fully complying with the provisions thereof, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than one hundred nor more than $500 for each offense, or the person, or any member of a firm, or the officer or agent of any corporation, so acting as employment agent may be imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or both, at the discretion of the court; and any such employment agent violating any other provision of this article or any rule or regulation prescribed by the commissioner of labor pursuant to the provisions of this article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than $200, or the person or any member of a firm or the officer or agent of any corporation so violating, may be imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both fined and imprisoned. A justice of the peace shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit court and other courts having criminal jurisdiction for the trial of offenses under this article.

§21-2-15. Employers exempt from provisions of article.

Nothing contained in this article shall apply to, nor prevent or interfere with, any person, firm, corporation or association employing labor for his their or its business carried on in this state.

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