Introduced Version Senate Bill 264 History

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Senate Bill No. 264

(By Senators Tomblin, Mr. President, and Caruth,

By Request of the Executive)


[Introduced January 18, 2008; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]


A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §6C-4-1, §6C-4-2 and §6C-4-3, all relating to reimbursement of compensation paid to certain state employees for training, education and professional development.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §6C-4-1, §6C-4-2 and §6C-4-3, all to read as follows:

§6C-4-1. Findings.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares as follows:

(1) That significant amounts of public funds are expended each year as compensation to state employees, including wages, salaries, benefits, tuition and expenses for job-related training, education and professional development;
(2) That such training is often not required for the performance of the employee's current job responsibilities, but is designed to develop additional skills or to obtain an advanced level of professional accreditation;
(3) That once their training is complete, such employees often capitalize on their enhanced marketability by pursuing career opportunities outside of state government;
(4) That investment in job-related training and professional development is important to the public services offered to the citizens of this state and is critical to attracting and retaining employees of the highest quality and integrity; and
(5) That in the event a state employee receives compensation for certain advanced professional development training and thereafter voluntarily discontinues employment with the state, the state government agency that bore the costs associated with such training should be authorized to seek the repayment of state moneys expended therefor.
§6C-4-2. Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:
(1) "Advanced professional development training" means any academy, class, conference, course, program, seminar or training attended by an employee that:
(A) Is not required by his or her current position;
(B) Is not required for the performance of his or her current job responsibilities; and
(C) Is intended to develop a higher level of skill, to develop an increase in professional or technical knowledge, or to obtain an advanced level of professional accreditation.
"Advanced professional development training" does not include routine job training, training required for the employee's performance of his or her current job responsibilities, attendance at professional conventions or seminars, continuing professional education or any form of training required to renew an employee's professional accreditation.
(2) "Agency" means an administrative unit of state government, including, without limitation, any authority, board, bureau, commission, committee, council, division, section, or office within the executive branch of state government. "Agency" does not include units of state government within the legislative or judicial branches, or the offices of any state constitutional officer.
(3) "Continuing professional education" means educational courses, seminars, lectures or programs necessary to maintain or renew an employee's professional accreditation.
(4) "Employee" means any person hired on or after the effective date of this article who performs a full or part-time service for wages, salary, or other remuneration under a contract for hire, written or oral, express or implied, for an agency. "Employee" does not include employees of the legislative or judicial branches, employees of any state constitutional officer, or a patient or inmate employed by a state institution.
(5) "Professional accreditation" means any certification, degree, advanced degree, endorsement or occupational license.
(6) "Training compensation" means compensation, including wages, salaries, benefits, tuition and expenses, paid to an employee for advanced professional development training.
§6C-4-3. Agreements to reimburse state agencies for training compensation paid to employees trained but not continuing employment; construction of article.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, in consideration for the payment of training compensation, an agency may require an employee to enter into a written agreement prior to the payment of such compensation that, if within three years following completion of the advanced professional development training, the employee voluntarily discontinues employment with the agency, the employee is obligated to pay the agency a pro rata portion of the training compensation equal to that part of such three-year period the employee chose not to remain employed with the agency: Provided, That the provisions of this section do not apply to compensation paid to a member of the West Virginia State Police during his or her participation in the West Virginia State Police Cadet Training Program in accordance with the provisions of subsection (i), section five, article two, chapter fifteen of this code.
(b) An agency may withhold prorated amounts due under subsection (a) of this section from any final payments due and owing to the employee.
(c) The provisions of this article are not to be construed to require an agency to provide training compensation to an employee
where the agency is not otherwise required to do so by law.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize state agencies to condition compensation paid to employees for job-related training, education or professional development on continued employment with the state agency.

§6C-4-1, §6C-4-2 and §6C-4-3 are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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