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Wheeling Chamber Opposes Overtime Bill That Could Make West Virginia's Border Areas Less Competitive

WHEELING, W.Va., March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce is urging Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to veto House Bill 4283 because of concerns that its changes to overtime regulations could make West Virginia's border communities less competitive with neighboring states. The chamber's board voted unanimously to oppose the bill. The bill's main purpose is to raise the state's minimum wage, but it also would make more workers subject to state overtime regulations.

"The unintended result is that all West Virginia employers with six or more employees would be required to comply with state overtime requirements that otherwise have not been updated since 1982," Terry Sterling, chamber president, wrote in a letter to Tomblin. "That old law lacks many of the exemptions of federal law, which now determines how most West Virginia businesses handle overtime. Making the situation even worse, the overtime law changes made by House Bill 4283 would take effect June 6, 2014, leaving employers just a matter of weeks to scramble to comply with the provisions."

Concerns about the bill are even greater for members of the business community along West Virginia's borders, because of the bill's potential to make them less competitive than businesses in neighboring states, he said.

"If you let that bill become law, it would hinder the ability of organizations like the chamber, and West Virginia in general, to recruit businesses to the state and retain those already here," Sterling wrote. "West Virginia would become an outlier among the states for economic development and job creation."

SOURCE Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce

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