CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue predicted Monday Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin would sign the bill raising the minimum wage despite objections being raised by employer and business groups over the impact of overtime changes.

The AFL-CIO joined several other groups in supporting the increase that passed the House and Senate on the final night of the legislative session. It would raise the current $7.25 an hour minimum wage to $8.00 on Jan. 1, 2015 and then to $8.75 in 2016.

The deadline to sign or veto the bill is Tuesday or it becomes law without Tomblin’s signature.

“I think the governor is going to look at the people who need it the most and sign the bill,” Perdue said. “In signing the bill he’s going to do a very good thing for the people who need it the most.”

Perdue said 122,000 state residents would benefit from the increase.

Concern over the increase began to build last week when the changes it makes in overtime language were highlighted. The change trumps the federal overtime exemptions that 80 percent of employers in West Virginia follow.

Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie was among those calling on calling on Tomblin to veto the bill during an appearance last Friday on MetroNews Talkline.

“If the intent is to make minimum wage go up, and solely that, go back and make a bill, very simple, that states just that,” said McKenzie. “Somehow, this has gone through committee after committee, two floor sessions, and, clearly, no one read the bill.”

He added the overtime changes could impact Wheeling by approximately $400,000 a year.

Labor leader Perdue said the concerns about the bill are very late in the game.

“Never heard anything…..until after the bill passed and went to the governor,” Perdue said. “If you’re going to pay attention to legislation come up and have fun with us for sixty days and make sure if there’s a problem with it you try and address that problem.”

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Comments

  • Greg

    So. what is the problem with the overtime rules? How come the objections are not described in the story? Did the reporter not report these facts of the story? Really bad reporting!

  • Aaron

    "Clueless babbling..."

    Says the person who's been wrong on EVERY post.

    • Stacey

      It is so much fun to be completely right and you be so completely wrong.

      Aaron and Bookman thought he wouldn't sign the bill, they won't fix the bill, and it's all a big conspiracy.

      It is just a great night for West Virginia and me.

      Still too much of a coward to take my bet on the OT exemptions? Not one business or organization will pay additional OT due to a change in the exemptions because of this bill.

      Will you bet? Or will you not stand by your own words?

    • The bookman

      We shall see if there is a scalpel used to adjust the exemptions, or if there is a reset. If there is a reset, then they realize they were caught, as they DID specifically change the language that created the OT dilemma. If they use a scalpel, then they made a mistake and included a group, like firemen, that raised the ire of those paying attention. In the end I think you have convinced me that it was no mistake, it was intentional, just a bridge too far.

  • Aaron

    Prior to this bill, WV's exemptions mirrored federal law. With this bill, there are only 19 exemptions in this law. If there are less exemptions under state law than there are federal laws, how is this bill heading closer to federal regulations?

  • LeftySteve

    The OT requirements were merely bringing the exemptions closer to the federal regulations anyway.

  • Aaron

    I've browsed numerous state papers and the Governor's site and no mention of him signing the bill.

    • The bookman

      I've also checked the legislative page, status awaiting Governor's Signature! He can leave it unsigned and it still becomes law, which may be his direction here.

      • Aaron

        Why do you think he's said nothing on the bill and allowed it to become law in the manner he has?

        • The bookman

          It gives him deniability . He isn't culpable as a result. Given the margin of approval of the bill, his only recourse would have been to veto it. I think he would view it that the process produced a bill that he largely agreed with, but has flaws. Not flawed enough to stick his buddies with another veto, but flaws. It doesn't get stuck to him, as he didn't sign it. It is those other two guys who shall remain nameless that must fix it , if in fact they want to.

          • Stacey

            Told you! Clueless babbling......

          • Aaron

            I would tell you I don't believe they want to but then I would be babbling and that's bad but to babble to one that is cluesless, well, I just can't go there.

            Wait.

            Or was I the clueless one. A clueless babbler. I here the gestapo approaching mothers basement door.

            If you don't hear from me again, you know why.

      • Aaron

        That implies to me that he has no intention of calling a session to "fix" the bill because it was never broke. If one side refuses to comment on the bill, there is no argument.

        • Stacey

          Clueless as usual....

        • The bookman

          Well I guess it's true, then. ERT will not run for re election for Governor in 2016!

  • TLC

    It's a bad bill in it's current form. Veto It Governor

  • Aaron

    “Never heard anything…..until after the bill passed and went to the governor,” Perdue said. “If you’re going to pay attention to legislation come up and have fun with us for sixty days and make sure if there’s a problem with it you try and address that problem.”

    I think Mr. Perdue meant to say he never heard any objection. If he were being honest, I would venture to guess that he knew about the overtime exemptions long before the bill became law. Whether others could have followed it is open to debate though. Originally, the proposed text read, "A BILL to amend and reenact §21-5C-1 and §21-5C-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to raising the minimum wage; and removing language exempting certain employers covered by federal minimum wage from definition of employer for state minimum wage purposes"

    Once the bill went to committee, it was changed to "A BILL to amend and reenact §21-5C-1, §21-5C-2 and §21-5C-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to minimum wage; providing definition for employer; establishing minimum wage amounts; establishing credit amount to employers for employees customarily receiving gratuities and certain other benefits."

    Notice the removal of terminology referencing the removal of language exempting certain employees covered by federal minimum wage from definition of state minimum wage purposes. It is clear to anyone with any common sense that in addition to raising the minimum wage, reducing the number of exemptions of employees who were ineligible for overtime under federal guidelines was clearly the intent of those pushing the bill through. Upon being assigned to committee, they reworded the opening paragraph to disguise their intent.

    I remain steadfast in my belief that removing the exemptions was intended by at least some members of the Democratic Party, likely those beholden to labor and as such they are getting exactly what they want out of the bill. Personally, I have no issues with paying most overtime for work performed in excess of 40 hours and believe that many of these exemptions are abused but that does not change the fact that this provision was passed in an underhanded manner.

    If, and that is a very big if, the change to defining who is and who is not eligible for overtime was purely accidental as some claim on the left, then why are they not supporting a veto of the flawed bill and having a clean bill pushed through in a special session and signed by the governor? After all, while the exemption change takes place on June 6th, the rate increase does not take place until January 1, 2015 thus it would make more sense to utilize that extended time frame and write a good bill versus rushing and trying to fix a bad bill.

    • The bookman

      Aaron, our Sisyphus, it only took her a little over 6 hours to find you. As I said before, good luck!

      • Aaron

        Nope, I've reached my limit. Trying to get down to her level has given me a headache. As I've yet to see anything regarding the Governor signing this bill, I'm not so sure she can grasp the implications of why he would take that route.

        • Stacey

          Don't be coward. Take the bet.

          I will even place a second bet: he's going to sign it.

          • Aaron

            Fine. I'll take both bets.

      • Stacey

        Don't you have some bashing to do? I mean why be productive when you can waste so much of your time on here condemning people trying to make a difference in the state.

        Bookman logic 101.

        • The bookman

          Your relentless pursuit of an argument is amazing. Your relentless pursuit of the SAME argument is baffling. As for the bashing, I have to plead guilty as charged. Don't get me wrong, I still believe The Speaker and the Senate President dropped the ball this session. My incessant repetition was much overdone. So I will believe my point has been made and move on.

          I would suggest you do the same, as I've learned nothing new from your many posts on this issue. You'll find that people simply see things differently, and no level of persuasion or spirited debate can resolve the differences. You are concerned about the plight of the minimum wage worker, a noble consideration on your part. Others are concerned about the impact of OT changes on the many previously exempted job categories. Equally important issue.

          No one is saying you can't have the wage increase. We just want the exemption fixed. Is that really too difficult to grasp? The good news is that very soon we'll have the mechanism depending on what the governor decides to do.

          And as for my productivity, don't worry about me. I don't sleep, just ask Hops'hip.

          • Stacey

            I'm responding to your posts about me and I'm the one arguing? That is hilarious.

            No one is saying the exemption for OT shouldn't be fixed, We just want the hourly increase.

            You chose to say the sky is falling based on a chamber attorney.

            I'm not quite sure why it baffles you and Aaron so much that when you post like chicken little, there will be logic and reason that is posted in return.

            Get some sleep and stop playing on the internet so much. It is probably the cause of your emotional state.

    • Stacey

      Conspiracy!! It's all a big conspiracy!

      How about we make a bet you are wrong about the OT issues and there is no scary conspiracy?

      Up to it? Have the guts to do it?

      The loser reveals their real name and address that can be confirmed. How about it?

      • Aaron

        I don't believe it is a conspiracy, I know where the bill stands. I have read the 21 of the code and the proposed bill. The proposed language changes the exemption status of numerous job classifications, including firemen.

        If the bill is allowed to become law and our incompetent legislatures make no changes, then many employees who are exempt from overtime pay on June 5th will no longer be exempt on June 6.

        Are you saying that is not going to happen? Is that the basis of your wager?

        • Stacey

          The wager is that the OT issue will not cause any additional OT wages to actually be paid by businesses/organizations even if this bill is signed.

          The language may change after the bill signing but the conspiracy you keep babbling on about where you state they really meant to do it never happens.

    • ViennaGuy

      +1

  • wvu999

    Let's use the Walmart model.
    People that make leas than 100k are just lazy and want to make money for doing nothing.

    • Aaron

      The last time I checked Wal-Mart employees were paid overtime on all hours beyond 40 hours.