W.Va. Agency Asks to Deny Workers Time off for Grievance Hearing

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – An attorney for the West Virginia Division of Highways has asked for permission to deny paid time off for employees who plan to attend an upcoming grievance hearing.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports a mediation hearing at the Public Employees Grievance Board office in Charleston is scheduled for Oct. 18.

More than 400 employees accuse the division of failing to address pay, hiring and retention problems as mandated by a 2017 law.

Division attorney Rebecca McDonald stated in a Sept. 12 letter to the grievance board that employees plan to stage a protest and the division shouldn’t have to follow a law that orders the agency to grant time off.

Union field organizer Gordon Simmons says union members only plan to cheer on employees as they walk into the upcoming hearing.