All Employers with 15+ WV Employees
July 1, 2017
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Originally passed in April, Senate Bill 280—which implements an unpaid Civil Air Patrol Leave, among other new protections for members of the Patrol—went into effect as of July 1, 2017. Employers should take note of the bill’s new leave and anti-discrimination provisions, and incorporate requirements into workplace policies and procedures accordingly.
Authorization to Expend Funds. SB 280 authorizes the state Adjutant General to expend funds to support state Civil Air Patrol functions.
Anti-Discrimination Provision. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against, discharging, or interfering with an employee’s ability to serve in the Civil Air Patrol. This provision applies to employees who are members of the Civil Air Patrol and have been employed for at least 90 days.
Civil Air Patrol Leave: West Virginia employers of more than 15 employees must now provide unpaid leave for members of the state Civil Air Patrol. The amount of leave varies depending on the purpose of its use.
- Amount of leave. Employees participating in training for an emergency mission must be provided up to a maximum of 10 days per calendar year; employees responding to an emergency mission must be provided up to a maximum of 30 days per calendar year.
- Notice requirements. For training, employees must provide 14 days’ advance notice of the beginning and end date of the desired leave, plus an estimate of the amount of time needed to complete training. For participation in an emergency mission, employees should provide as much notice as possible, plus an estimate of the time needed to complete the mission. Changes in the time required to complete training or missions must be reported to the employer. Employers may request verification of eligibility for leave; failure to provide such verification may result in denial of leave.
- Effect on benefits. Employees cannot be required to exhaust all available leave or time-off benefits prior to beginning Civil Air Patrol leave. Employers are not required to continue or maintain benefits for any employee eligible under this leave if the employee is not otherwise eligible for benefits under the employer’s plan or policies.
- Return to work. The employee must be returned to the same position, or a position with equivalent seniority stature, benefits, pay, and conditions of employment, upon return from leave.
- Anti-retaliation and discrimination. Employers may not interfere with leave or take adverse employment action (e.g., discharging, fining, suspending, disciplining, or discriminating) against employees who are members of the Civil Air Patrol who comply with the provisions of the bill or oppose a practice not in compliance with the bill.
SB 280 allows employees to bring a civil action in an appropriate circuit court to enforce its provisions. Plaintiffs may seek lost wages resulting from any violation under this article, though no other monetary damages may be awarded or recovered.
- Review the text of SB 280 here.
- Have policy documents or handbooks revised to incorporate information regarding Civil Air Patrol Leave.
- Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.
Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.
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