General provisions




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TITLE 27

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT


CHAPTER 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS


271101.  "Manufacturing establishment" defined; "person" defined.
Manufacturing establishments, as those words are used in this act, shall mean and include all smelters, oil refineries, cement works, mills of every kind, machine and repair shops, and in addition to the foregoing, any other kind or character of manufacturing establishment, of any nature or description whatsoever, wherein any natural product or other articles or materials of any kind, in a raw or unfinished or incomplete state or condition, are converted into a new or improved or different form. Wherever the expression occurs in this act in substantially the following words: "every person owning or operating any manufacturing establishment," or where language similar to that is used, the word "person" in that connection shall be held and construed to mean any person or persons, partnership, corporation, receiver, trust, trustee, or any other person or combination of persons, either natural or artificial, by whatever name he or they may be called.
271102.  Doors at public places to open outward; handrails on stairs; enforcement.
All doors leading into or to any manufacturing establishment, mills, workshops, offices, bakeries, laundries, stores, hotels, theaters, halls, or other buildings in which people are employed, shall be so constructed as to open outward, when practicable, and shall not be locked, bolted or fastened so as to prevent free egress during working hours. Proper and substantial handrails shall be provided on all stairways in manufacturing establishments, mills, workshops, offices, bakeries, laundries, stores, hotels, theaters, halls, and other buildings where people are employed or rooms are rented to the public. The department of workforce services shall have authority to enforce by due process of law, the provisions of this section, and other laws relating to fire escapes.
271103.  Safety devices on elevators and machinery.
The openings of all hoistways, hatchways, elevators, well holes and stairways in manufacturing establishments, mills, workshops, bakeries, laundries, stores, hotels, theaters, halls, or any other kind of establishment where labor is employed, or machinery used, shall be protected by trapdoors, hatches, fences, automatic gates or other safeguards, and all due diligence shall be used to keep all such means of protection closed, except when it is necessary to have the same open for use when practicable. All machinery, in use in any mercantile, manufacturing, or any other establishment whatsoever where labor is employed, shall be equipped, with proper shifters for throwing on or off pulleys, loose pulleys and other such safeguards as may be deemed necessary by the department of workforce services for the proper safeguard of life and limb.
271104.  Mines and interstate railroads exempt.
Nothing herein contained, as applied to inspection and application of safety devices, shall be construed to be applicable to coal and metalliferous mines and workshops connected therewith, nor to railroads engaged in interstate commerce and workshops connected therewith.
271105.  Employees' contract releasing employer from personal injury liability void.
It shall be unlawful for any person, company or corporation to require of its servants or employees, as a condition of their employment or otherwise, any contract or agreement whereby such person, company or corporation shall be released or discharged from liability or responsibility on account of personal injuries received by such servants or employees while in service of such person, company or corporation, by reason of the negligence of such person, company or corporation, or the agents or employees thereof, and such contracts shall be absolutely null and void.
271106.  Certain nonresident employers required to post bond; exceptions.
(a)  All firms, corporations or employers of any kind who are nonresident employers and expect to pay wages in the state of Wyoming in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) monthly or one hundred twenty thousand dollars ($120,000.00) annually as a result of conducting business within Wyoming, are required to file with the director of the department of workforce services a surety bond or other security meeting the requirements of this section, approved by the director and the attorney general.
(b)  The bond or other security required by subsection (a) of this section shall be in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) plus an additional one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each one hundred twenty thousand dollars ($120,000.00) or fraction thereof that the expected wages exceed one hundred twenty thousand dollars ($120,000.00) annually.
(c)  The bond or security provided for in this section shall ensure:
(i)  The payment of wages of employees working in the state; and
(ii)  All other payments or obligations of the nonresident employer required by the Wyoming Worker's Compensation Act unless waived by the director pursuant to W.S. 2714302.
(d)  The nonresident employer shall post additional security before performing work under any new contract if the security previously posted under this section has expired.
(e)  Upon application by a nonresident employer, the director may permit the withdrawal of any security if the employer has:
(i)  Complied with the security requirements of this section and made all necessary payments for a period of two (2) years;
(ii)  Demonstrated that he has been a resident of the state for two (2) years and intends to remain a resident; or
(iii)  Acquired real property as a nonresident with an unencumbered value greater than or equal to the value of the bond or other security required by subsection (b) of this section.
(f)  If the anticipated work has ceased before the expiration of twentyfour (24) months, or less than fifty percent (50%) of the largest work force is still working in Wyoming, the security deposited by the nonresident employer shall be forfeited and retained by the division in an amount equal to the reserved amounts for compensable injuries to the nonresident employer's employees. Upon application by a nonresident employer, the division shall refund the amount not forfeited pursuant to this subsection except for any disbursements made under subsection (c) of this section.
(g)  This section does not apply to charitable or religious organizations.
271107.  Nonresident employers to post bond; penalty.
Any person or persons, corporation, agent, manager or employer who shall violate any of the provisions of W.S. 271106 shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall for each offense, be subject to a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or both.
271108.  Penalties generally.
Any person who violates or omits to comply with any of the provisions of this act, or any final order of the department of workforce services is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or both.
271109.  Prosecution of violations.
The district attorney for any county in this state shall, upon receipt of a verified complaint from the director of the department of workforce services or a final agency decision of the department of workforce services prosecute to termination before any court of competent jurisdiction, in the name of the state of Wyoming, actions or proceedings against any person or persons charged with violation of any of the provisions of this act, or any of the laws of this state enacted for the protection of employees.
271110.  State rehabilitation council; membership; chairman.
(a)  There is established a permanent council within the department of workforce services to be known as the Wyoming governor's state rehabilitation council, to consist of:
(i)  At least one (1) representative of the statewide independent living council;
(ii)  At least one (1) representative of a parent training and information center;
(iii)  At least one (1) representative of the client assistance program;
(iv)  At least one (1) vocational rehabilitative counselor;
(v)  At least one (1) representative of community rehabilitation program service providers;
(vi)  Four (4) representatives of business, industry and labor;
(vii)  At least two (2) representatives of disability advocacy groups;
(viii)  At least two (2) current or former applicants of vocational rehabilitation services;
(ix)  The administrator of the division of vocational rehabilitation;
(x)  At least one (1) representative of the department of education;
(xi)  At least one (1) representative of the state workforce investment board.
(b)  The director of the department of workforce services shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the state rehabilitation council.
(c)  A majority of council members shall be persons who are:
(i)  Individuals with disabilities;
(ii)  Not employed by the division of vocational rehabilitation.
(d)  One (1) of the members shall be elected chairman by the members of the council. The appointive members shall hold office for the term specified. The council shall be nonpartisan. The governor may remove any council member as provided in W.S. 91202.
271111.  Duties of council and department.
The department of workforce services, with advice of the council, shall carry on a continuing program to promote the employment of physically, mentally, emotionally and otherwise handicapped persons by creating statewide interest in the rehabilitation and employment of the handicapped and by obtaining and maintaining cooperation from all public and private groups and individuals in the field. The council shall work in cooperation with the president's committee on employment of the handicapped in order to more effectively carry out the purposes of this act.
271112.  Authority of council to receive gifts, grants or donations.
The department of workforce services, on behalf of the council, is authorized to receive any gifts, grants or donations made for any of the purposes of its program.
271113.  Employer immunity for disclosure of certain employee information; rebuttal of presumption.
(a)  An employer who discloses information about a former employee's job performance to a prospective employer or to an employer of the former employee is presumed to be acting in good faith. Unless lack of good faith is shown by a preponderance of evidence, the employer is immune from civil liability for the disclosure or for the consequences resulting from the disclosure.
(b)  For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, the presumption of good faith is rebutted upon a showing that the information disclosed by the former employer was knowingly false or deliberately misleading or was rendered with malicious purpose.
271114.  Temporary employment fees.
(a)  A temporary service contractor for temporary workers is not entitled to collect a fee from an employer for the permanent employment of a temporary worker placed by the temporary service contractor, unless the employer is notified in writing of the existence and the amount of the fee prior to the date of services being rendered by a temporary worker to the employer.
(b)  For the purpose of this section "temporary service contractor" means any person, firm, association or corporation conducting a business that employs individuals directly for the purpose of furnishing services of the employed individuals on a temporary basis to others.
271115.  State directory of new hires; requirements; exceptions; definitions.
(a)  A department designated by the governor shall maintain a directory of new hires using information provided by employers in the state. The department shall use the information in the directory of new hires to:
(i)  Provide information to the department of family services as necessary to:
(A)  Locate individuals for purposes of establishing paternity and establishing, modifying and enforcing child support obligations;
(B)  Notify employers of wage withholding orders.
(ii)  Provide information to the national directory of new hires; and
(iii)  Maintain information as necessary for the administration of employment security and worker's compensation programs.
(b)  Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, each employer in the state shall furnish to the department of workforce services within twenty (20) days of hiring a new employee, or in the case of an employer transmitting reports magnetically or electronically, by two (2) monthly transmissions not less than twelve (12) days nor more than sixteen (16) days apart, a report that contains the name, address and social security number of the employee, the date services for remuneration were first performed by the employee and the name and address of, and identifying number assigned to, the employer under section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code. The report shall be made on a W-4 form approved by the internal revenue service or, at the option of the employer, on an equivalent form approved by the department. The form may be transmitted by first class mail, electronically or magnetically in a format acceptable to the designated department.
(c)  An employer that has employees who are employed in Wyoming and any other state and who transmits the report required under subsection (b) of this section by electronic or magnetic means may elect to submit the report to either state in accordance with federal law. Any department, agency or instrumentality of the federal government operating in the state may submit the report required under subsection (b) of this section to the national directory of new hires in accordance with federal law.
(d)  For purposes of this section:
(i)  "Employee" means an individual eighteen (18) years of age or older who is an employee within the meaning of chapter 24 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, but does not include an employee of a federal or state agency performing intelligence or counter-intelligence functions if the head of such agency has determined that reporting the information required by this section could endanger the safety of the individual or compromise an ongoing investigation or intelligence operation. If the federal government seeks to impose sanctions on Wyoming for failure to report new hires under eighteen (18) years of age, the department may include such individuals within the definition of employee for purposes of this section;
(ii)  "Employer" means as defined in section 3401(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and includes any governmental agency and any labor organization;
(iii)  "Newly hired employee" means an individual who has not previously been employed by the employer or was previously employed by the employer but has been separated from employment with that employer for at least sixty (60) days.
(e)  In the event that the federal law requiring the state to maintain a directory of new hires is repealed, employers shall not be required to submit reports as provided by subsections (b) and (c) of this section. The state shall not thereafter maintain the directory of new hires required under subsection (a) of this section.
CHAPTER 2

LABOR AND STATISTICS


272101.  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3.
272102.  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3.
272103.  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3.
272104.  Duties of department of workforce services.
(a)  The department of workforce services shall:
(i)  Enforce all laws enacted by the legislature of Wyoming, relating to labor, wages, hours of labor, and to the health, welfare, life and limb of the workers of this state;
(ii)  Repealed By Laws 2001, Ch. 162, § 2.
(iii)  Make necessary inspections of industrial establishments and buildings as provided by law;
(iv)  Make an inspection of all living accommodations provided for employees wherever employed, where the living accommodations are furnished as a part of the wages; and
(v)  To promulgate reasonable rules.
(b)  Repealed By Laws 2002, Ch. 100, § 4.
272105.  Report to governor; statistics and information required.
(a)  The department of workforce services shall collect, classify, have printed and submit to the governor in its annual report the following statistics:
(i)  The hours of labor and number of sex engaged in manual labor;
(ii)  The aggregate and average daily wages classified by sex and occupation;
(iii)  The number and character of accidents;
(iv)  The working conditions of all industrial establishments (including manufacturing establishments, hotels, stores, workshops, theaters, halls and other places where labor is employed);
(v)  Other information relating to industrial, economic, social, educational, moral and sanitary conditions of the workers; and
(vi)  The results of its inspection of industrial establishments.
272106.  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3.
272107.  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3.
272108.  Right of entry.
The director of the department of workforce services may designate employees of the department who shall have power to enter any manufacturing establishment, mill, workshop, office, bakery, laundry, store, hotel, theater, hall, or any public or private works where labor is employed, rooms are rented to the public, or machinery is used, for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this act.
272109.  Examination of witnesses.
(a)  The director of the department of workforce services may designate employees of the department who shall have the power to administer oaths, to examine witnesses under oath, to compel the attendance of witnesses and the giving of testimony in any part of this state.
(b)  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3; ch. 71, § 2.
(c)  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3; ch. 71, § 2.
(d)  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3; ch. 71, § 2.
(e)  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3; ch. 71, § 2.
(f)  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3; ch. 71, § 2.
(g)  Except as otherwise provided by law, final agency decisions of the department of workforce services with regard to chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of title 27, shall be issued only after an opportunity for hearing pursuant to the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act. Any party aggrieved by a final agency decision of the department of employment with regards to chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of title 27, shall have the right to appeal to district court pursuant to the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act.
272110.  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3.
272111.  Repealed By Laws 2002, Ch. 100, § 4.
272112.  Sale of office publications; exception.
The department of workforce services may sell any publication or other duplicated or printed material, other than the biennial report, which it prepares and which the public may desire to purchase.
272113.  Sale of office publications; limitation on charges.
The charges made by the department of workforce services shall not exceed the cost of materials, printing, duplication, packaging and postage.
272114.  Repealed by Laws 1990, ch. 63, § 3.
CHAPTER 3

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION


ARTICLE 1

IN GENERAL


273101.  Short title.
This act is and may be cited as the "Wyoming Employment Security Law".
273102.  Definitions generally.
(a)  As used in this act:
(i)  "Base period" means the first four (4) of the last five (5) completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of an individual's benefit year or any other twelve (12) month period specified by commission regulation. A calendar quarter used in one (1) base period of a valid claim shall not be used in a subsequent base period. If a combined wage claim under W.S. 273608, the base period is as provided under law of the paying state;
(ii)  "Benefit" means a payment to an individual for unemployment under this act;
(iii)  "Benefit year" means:
(A)  The fiftytwo (52) consecutive calendar week period beginning the first week of a claim series established by the filing of a valid initial claim for benefits following the termination of any previously established benefit year; or
(B)  The fiftythree (53) consecutive calendar week period beginning the first week of a claim series if filing a new valid claim results in the overlapping of any quarter of the base period of a previously filed claim; or
(C)  If a combined wage claim under W.S. 273608, the benefit year is as provided under law of the paying state.
(iv)  "Calendar quarter" means a period of three (3) consecutive calendar months ending on March 31, June 30, September 30 or December 31;
(v)  "Commission" means the unemployment insurance commission of Wyoming within the department of workforce services;
(vi)  "Contribution" means payments to the unemployment compensation fund required by this act including payments instead of contributions under W.S. 273509;
(vii)  "Employing unit" means any individual or type of organization employing one (1) or more individuals in this state including any partnership, association, trust, estate, corporation, domestic or foreign insurance company or corporation, a receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or a successor or the legal representative of a deceased person and including any limited liability corporation. Also, any individual or organization not previously subject to this act shall be an employing unit upon acquiring any entity already subject to this act. An individual performing services within this state for any employing unit maintaining two (2) or more separate places of business in the state is employed by a single employing unit. An individual employed to perform for or assist any agent or employee of an employing unit is employed by the employing unit whether hired or paid directly by the employing unit or by the agent or employee if the employing unit had actual or constructive knowledge of the work;
(viii)  "Employment office" means a free public employment office or branch operated by any state as part of a state controlled system of public employment offices or by a federal agency administering an unemployment compensation program or a system of free public employment offices;
(ix)  "Fund" means the unemployment compensation fund established by this act;
(x)  "Hospital" means any institution, building or agency maintaining, furnishing or offering hospitalization of the sick and injured or chronic or convalescent care by individuals employed by the state or any political subdivision;
(xi)  "Institution of higher education" means any college or university in this state and any other public or nonprofit educational institution:
(A)  Admitting as regular students only high school graduates or the recognized equivalent;
(B)  Legally authorized to provide post secondary education in this state; and
(C)  Providing an educational program for which a bachelor's or higher degree is awarded or which is accepted as full credit toward this degree, providing a program of postgraduate or postdoctoral study or a training program preparing students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.
(xii)  "Insured work" means employment for employers;
(xiii)  "Nonprofit hospital" means any institution performing services specified by paragraph (x) of this subsection and organized and operated under W.S. 352302(a)(vi) and authority of the state department of health;
(xiv)  "State" means any of the fifty (50) states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands;
(xv)  "Unemployment" means any week in which an individual performs no services and receives no wages or performs less than fulltime work if wages payable for that week are less than his weekly benefit amount and are in accordance with regulations of the commission;
(xvi)  "Valid claim" means a claim filed by an individual earning wages for insured work in amounts specified under W.S. 273306(d) for which no misrepresentation is made of unemployment requirements of this act;
(xvii)  "United States" used in a geographical sense means the fifty (50) states, the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands;
(xviii)  "Wage" means remuneration payable for services from any source including commissions, bonuses and cash. The reasonable cash value of remuneration other than cash or check shall be prescribed by rule of the commission. To the extent the following are not considered wages under 26 U.S.C. §§ 3301 through 3311, "wage" does not include:
(A)  For purposes of W.S. 273503 through 273509, remuneration greater than fiftyfive percent (55%) of the statewide average annual wage calculated pursuant to W.S. 273303(a) and rounded to the lowest one hundred dollars ($100.00), which is paid during any calendar year to an individual by each employer or a predecessor within any calendar year including employment under any other state unemployment compensation law unless the amount is subject to a federal tax against which credit may be taken for contributions paid into any state unemployment fund;
(B)  Any premium paid by an employing unit under a plan, system or into a fund for insurance or annuities to provide an employee or class of employees retirement, sickness or accident disability, medical and hospitalization expenses for sickness or accident disability or death benefits if the employee cannot receive any part of this payment instead of the death benefit or any part of the premium if the benefit is insured and cannot assign or receive cash instead of the benefit upon withdrawal from or termination of the plan, system, policy or services with the employing unit;
(C)  A payment by an employing unit not deducted from an employee's remuneration for the tax imposed under 26 U.S.C. § 3101;
(D)  Dismissal payments which the employing unit is not obligated to make;
(E)  That portion of tips or gratuities not reportable under 26 U.S.C. § 3306(s);
(F)  The value of any meals or lodging furnished by and for the convenience of the employer to the employee if the meals are furnished on the business premises of the employer or in the case of lodging, the employee is required to accept lodging on the business premises of his employer as a condition of his employment;
(G)  Remuneration received by an employee as sick pay following a six (6) month continuous period of illness;
(H)  Any benefit under a cafeteria plan specified by 26 U.S.C. § 125, excluding cash;
(J)  Wages of a deceased worker paid to a beneficiary or estate following the calendar year of the worker's death;
(K)  Services received under any dependent care assistance program to the extent excluded from gross income under 26 U.S.C. § 129;
(M)  Repealed By Laws 2010, Ch. 66, § 2.
(N)  Services or benefits received under any educational assistance program;
(O)  Any benefit or other value received under an employee achievement award;
(P)  The value of any qualified group legal services plan to the extent payments are excluded from gross income under 26 U.S.C. § 120;
(Q)  Costs of group term life insurance;
(R)  Repealed By Laws 2010, Ch. 66, § 2.
(S)  Any moving expenses;
(T)  Employer contributions to any qualified retirement and pension plan or individual retirement account and distributions from qualified retirement and pension plans and annuities under 26 U.S.C. § 403(b);
(U)  Benefit payments under any supplemental unemployment compensation plan; and
(W)  Any benefits paid under the Wyoming Worker's Compensation Act or any other worker's compensation law of another state.
(xix)  "Week" means a period of seven (7) consecutive calendar days beginning Sunday and the commission may by regulation prescribe that a week is within the benefit year which includes the greater part of that week;
(xx)  "Department" means the divisions within the department of workforce services established under W.S. 922002 which contain the principal operating units that administer the unemployment compensation program pursuant to the Social Security Act;
(xxi)  "Casual labor" means service not within the normal course of business and for which the remuneration paid is less than fifty dollars ($50.00);
(xxii)  "Erroneous payment" means a payment that, but for the failure by the employer or the employer's agent to provide requested information with respect to the claim for unemployment compensation, would not have been made;
(xxiii)  "Pattern of failing" means repeated documented failure on the part of the employer or the agent of the employer to respond to a written request from the department for information relating to a claim for benefits, taking into consideration the number of instances of failure in relation to the total volume of requests by the department to the employer or the employer's agent;
(xxiv)  "Misconduct connected with work" means an act of an employee which indicates an intentional disregard of the employer's interests or the commonly accepted duties, obligations and responsibilities of an employee. "Misconduct connected with work" does not include:
(A)  Ordinary negligence in isolated instances;
(B)  Good faith errors in judgment or discretion;
(C)  Inefficiency or failure in good performance as the result of inability or incapacity.
(xxv)  "This act" means W.S. 273101 through 273706.
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