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Yesterday evening, Governor Tomblin signed HB 4283 to raise the minimum wage, stating that, "I signed this bill because I believe it is a positive step toward helping more than 100,000 hardworking West Virginians earn a fair wage-including mothers, fathers, working adults, as well as teens working their first jobs." This new law raises the minimum wage to $8.00 in 2015 and then again to $8.75 in 2016. This will make West Virginia’s minimum wage rate the 5th highest in the country beginning on January 1, 2015.

The passage and signage of this bill was heavily debated due to its effects on current overtime laws and federal exemptions. From early on, OMEGA worked with both the Legislature and the Governor’s office on this bill. We originally hoped that we could address concerns and fix issues with the bill while it was still in the early stages of the process. Even though the bill passed through, we are confident that these important issues will still be addressed. A special session in May has been called to consider the overtime provisions of this bill. We have the Governor’s word that this issue, along with others, will be properly addressed then.

OMEGA will continue its involvement with this issue as the special session nears and will ask lawmakers to preserve the federal exemptions and overtime provisions that have long been a part of West Virginia minimum wage laws. We will keep you updated.


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