WEST virginia legislature
2021 regular session
Senate Bill 421
By Senators Tarr, Roberts, and Woodrum
[Passed April 2, 2021; in effect 90 days from passage]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §21A-2-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the general powers and duties of the Commissioner of Workforce West Virginia; and authorizing the agency to hire additional employees to serve at the will and pleasure of the commissioner.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
Article 2. the commissioner of Workforce West Virginia.
§ 21A-2-6 Powers and duties generally.
The commissioner is the executive and administrative head of Workforce West Virginia and has the power and duty to:
(1) Exercise general supervision for the governance of Workforce West Virginia and propose rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code to implement the requirements of this chapter;
(2) Prescribe uniform rules pertaining to investigations and departmental hearings, and propose rules for promulgation;
(3) Supervise fiscal affairs and responsibilities of Workforce West Virginia;
(4) Prescribe the qualifications of, appoint, remove, and fix the compensation of, the officers and employees of Workforce West Virginia, subject to the provisions of §21A-4-10 of this code, relating to the Board of Review;
(5) Organize and administer Workforce West Virginia so as to comply with the requirements of this chapter and to satisfy any conditions established in applicable federal law or regulation;
(6) Make reports in the form and containing information required by the United States Department of Labor and comply with any requirements that the United States Department of Labor finds necessary to assure the correctness and verification of the reports;
(7) Make available to any agency of the United States charged with the administration of public works or assistance through public employment, upon its request, the name, address, ordinary occupation, and employment status of each recipient of unemployment compensation and a statement of the recipient’s rights to further compensation under this chapter;
(8) Keep an accurate and complete record of all Workforce West Virginia proceedings, record and file all bonds and contracts, and assume responsibility for the custody and preservation of all papers and documents of Workforce West Virginia;
(9) Sign and execute in the name of the state, by Workforce West Virginia, any contract or agreement with the federal government, its agencies, other states, their subdivisions, or private persons;
(10) Prescribe a salary scale to govern compensation of appointees and employees of Workforce West Virginia;
(11) Exempt up to 100 positions of the offices of WorkForce West Virginia from the classified service of the state, the employees of which positions shall serve at the will and pleasure of the commissioner: Provided, That such exempt positions shall be in addition to those positions in classified and classified-exempt service under the classification plan adopted by the Division of Personnel. The Commissioner of WorkForce West Virginia shall report all exemptions made under this section to the Director of the Division of Personnel as the commissioner determines necessary;
(12) Make the original determination of right in claims for benefits;
(13) Make recommendations and an annual report to the Governor concerning the condition, operation, and functioning of Workforce West Virginia;
(14) Invoke any legal or special remedy for the enforcement of orders or the provisions of this chapter;
(15) Exercise any other power necessary to standardize administration, expedite Workforce West Virginia business, assure the establishment of fair rules, and promote the efficiency of the service;
(16) Keep an accurate and complete record and prepare a monthly report of the number of persons employed and unemployed in the state. The report shall be made available upon request to members of the public and press;
(17) Provide, at Workforce West Virginia expense, a program of continuing professional, technical, and specialized instruction for the personnel of Workforce West Virginia;
(18) (A) Propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code, under which agencies of this state shall revoke or not grant, issue, or renew any contract, license, permit, certificate, or other authority to conduct a trade, profession, or business to or with any employing unit whose account is in default with the commissioner with regard to the administration of this chapter. The term “agency” includes any unit of state government such as officers, agencies, divisions, departments, boards, commissions, authorities, or public corporations. An employing unit is not in default if it has entered into a repayment agreement with the Unemployment Compensation Division of Workforce West Virginia and remains in compliance with its obligations under the repayment agreement;
(B) The rules shall provide that, before revoking, granting, issuing, or renewing any contract, license, permit, certificate, or other authority to conduct a trade, profession, or business to or with any employing unit, the designated agencies shall review a list or lists provided by Workforce West Virginia that are in default. If the employing unit’s name is not on the list, the agency, unless it has actual knowledge that the employing unit is in default with Workforce West Virginia, may grant, issue, or renew the contract, license, permit, certificate, or other authority to conduct a trade, profession, or business. The list may be provided to the agency in the form of a computerized database or databases that the agency can access. Any objections to the revocation or refusal to issue or renew shall be reviewed under the appropriate provisions of this chapter;
(C) The rules may be promulgated or implemented in phases so that specific agencies or specific types of contracts, licenses, permits, certificates, or other authority to conduct trades, professions, or businesses will be subject to the rules beginning on different dates. The presumptions of ownership or control contained in the Department of Environmental Protection’s surface mining reclamation regulations promulgated under the provisions of §22-3-1 et seq. of this code are not applicable or controlling in determining the identity of employing units who are in default for the purposes of this subdivision. The rules shall also provide a procedure allowing any agency or interested person, after being covered under the rules for at least one year, to petition Workforce West Virginia to be exempt from the provisions of the rules;
(19) Deposit to the credit of the appropriate special revenue account or fund, notwithstanding any other provision of this code and to the extent allowed by federal law, all amounts of delinquent payments or overpayments, interest, and penalties thereon and attorney’s fees and costs collected under the provisions of this chapter. The amounts collected shall not be treated by the Auditor or Treasurer as part of the general revenue of the state; and
(20) Enter into interagency agreements to assist in exchanging information and fulfilling the provisions of this article.