West Virginia Commissioner of Labor

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West Virginia Commissioner of Labor
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $3,427,325
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Four years, concurrent with the term of the governor
Authority:  Chapters 21 and 47 of the West Virginia Code
Selection Method:  Appointed by Governor
Current Officeholder
Name:  John Junkins
Assumed office:  2013
Compensation:  $70,000
Other West Virginia Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerSecretary of CommerceCommissioner of LaborPublic Service Commission
The West Virginia Commissioner of Labor is an appointed state executive position in the West Virginia state government. The commissioner is the head of the state Division of Labor, which falls under the jurisdiction of the West Virginia Secretary of Commerce, and is responsible for inspections, licensing, and labor law enforcement across the state.[1] The labor division's stated mission is "to insure the prosperity, economic growth and safety of all West Virginians by safeguarding rights and ensuring equity in the marketplace."[1]

Current officeholder

The current labor commissioner is John Junkins. He has served in the position since 2013.[2]


The state Department of Labor and the authority of the commissioner are established in Chapter 21, Article 1 of the West Virginia Code:

Chapter 21, Article 1, Section 1:

There shall be a state department of labor, which shall be under the control and management of a state commissioner of labor.

As established under §47-1-3, the commissioner of labor also holds the title and powers of the office known as commissioner of weights and accounts.[3]


There are no set qualifications for the office of labor commissioner. The West Virginia Code, under §21-1, states only that "the commissioner shall be a competent person, who is identified with the labor interests of the state."[4]


West Virginia state government organizational chart

Chapter 21, Article 1 also establishes the method of selection and term schedule for the office of labor commissioner:

The state Commissioner of Labor shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. He or she shall be a competent person, who is identified with the labor interests of the state. The Commissioner of Labor in office on the effective date of this section shall, unless sooner removed, continue to serve until his or her term expires and his or her successor has been appointed and has qualified. On or before the first day of April, one thousand nine hundred forty-one, and on or before the first day of April of each fourth year thereafter, the Governor shall appoint a Commissioner of Labor to serve for a term of four years, commencing on said first day of April.



Vacancies in the office of labor commissioner are filled by gubernatorial appointment with the consent of the state Senate. The appointee continues to serve at the pleasure of the governor until their successor has been appointed and confirmed.


The West Virginia Division of Labor falls under the purview of the state Department of Commerce. The division conducts inspections of measurement devices, amusement rides, manufactured homes, elevators, and boilers. It licenses contractors, crane operators, and plumbers and enforces the state's labor and wage laws and regulations.[5]

Chapters 21 and 47 of the West Virginia Code elaborates on the duties of the commissioner. The officeholder, or their authorized representative, is authorized to enter any work place in the state to collect information relating to workers, wages, and working conditions. West Virginia's "principal factories and workshops" are inspected once a year, and the commissioner will inspect any work place if three or more "reputable citizens" lodge complaints with the office. The commissioner also provides an annual written report to the governor.[4] In his or her capacity as commissioner of weights and measures, the commissioner of labor is vested with additional powers and duties "with respect to the enforcement of Chapter 47, Article 1" of the state code. Among them, the commissioner has special police powers, "and is authorized to arrest, without formal warrant, any violator of this article."[3]

The commissioner manages the labor division's five sections in carrying out the following duties, as listed on the division website:[1]

  • Ensure legal and documented workers are treated honestly and fairly
  • Ensure payment of wages and benefits due employees
  • Ensure the payment of prevailing wage to those working on public-improvement projects
  • Register and license construction companies and verify compliance with other state agencies
  • Provide protection of consumers who purchase manufactured homes
  • Ensure safety of amusement rides and elevators for public use
  • Provide businesses and consumers accurate measurements and quality fuel
  • Provide state OSHA consultations for high-hazard employers
  • Assure accurate weight and contents of packaged products
  • Ensure that minors under the age of 18 work in safe environments


The West Virginia Division of Labor has five sections:

  • The Licensing section manages the state's application and licensing processes for bedding, contractors, crane operators, manufactured housing, and plumbers.
  • The Wage & Hour section ensures West Virginia employees receive all wages and benefits due for the hours they work, and enforces compliance with wage and child labor laws and regulations.
  • The Weights & Measures section inspects measurement devices for items ranging from tractor trailers and rail cars to gasoline and supermarket produce.
  • The Manufactured Housing section enforces the West Virginia Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act. The staff of this section licenses manufacturers, dealers, and installers, and manages the state's manufactured housing recovery fund.
  • The Safety section enforces the Elevator Safety Act, the Steam Boiler Inspection Law, and the Amusement Rides and Amusement Attractions Safety Act. The office licenses private contractors who conduct inspections across the state, and issues certificates of inspection and permits to operate.

State budget

See also: West Virginia state budget and finances

The budget for the Division of Labor in Fiscal Year 2013 was $3,427,325.[6]


Chapter 6, Article 7-2 of the West Virginia Code lays out the exact compensation for certain state officers. According to this section of the state code, the salary of the commissioner of labor, beginning in 2006 and for each calendar year thereafter, shall be $70,000.[7]


In 2014, the commissioner received a salary of $70,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]


In 2013, the commissioner's salary remained at $70,000.[9]


In 2010, the commissioner received a salary of $70,000 according to the Council of State Governments.[10]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the West Virginia Commissioner of Labor has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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West Virginia Commissioner of Labor - Google News Feed

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Contact information

West Virginia Division of Labor
749 B Building 6
Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305

Phone: 304-558-7890
Fax: 304-558-2415
Commissioner's e-mail: david.w.mullins@wv.gov

Department contact information

See also

External links

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