CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A legislative report says West Virginia’s Division of Labor cited more than 500 violations of a jobs act intended to give local laborers the majority of roles on state-funded public works projects.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Wednesday that contractors were fined more than $100,000 altogether during the 2018-19 fiscal year for failing to have at least 75% of their workers be from West Virginia or surrounding counties. A majority of projects were in compliance.
A June Legislative audit deemed the act ineffective and recommended its repeal. The audit suggested the law failed partly because of a federal provision allowing local markets to include counties within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the state line. The newspaper says millions of laborers in parts of Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. were defined as local.