The West Virginia Human Rights Act (WVHRA) prohibits discrimination in employment if an employee or applicant with a disability or blindness is able and competent to perform the services required (WV Code Sec. 5-11-1 et seq.). The Act covers private employers with 12 or more employees within the state for 20 or more calendar weeks in the calendar year or the preceding calendar year and all state and local government agencies, regardless of size.
Under the Act, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability in the areas of:
• Recruitment, advertising, and processing applications
• Hiring, promotions, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, rehiring, and award of tenure
• Pay rates or any other form of compensation
• Job assignments, job classifications, organizational structures, position description, lines of progression, and seniority lists
• Leaves of absence, sick leave, or any other leave
• Fringe benefits, such as medical, hospital, accident, disability, life insurance, retirement benefits, unemployment benefits, and profit-sharing and bonus plan
• Selection or financial support for training, including apprenticeship, professional meetings, conferences, and leaves of absence to pursue training
• Employer-sponsored activities, including social or recreational programs
• Any other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. The Act provides an exception when discrimination is based on a BFOQ. According to guidelines issued by the state's Human Rights Commission, a BFOQ is very narrowly interpreted, and an employer must prove that all or virtually all persons with a particular disability ...