Meadows v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc

In Meadows v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 207 W.Va. 203, 530 S.E.2d 676 (1999), the Court held that under the WPCA, the terms of the applicable employment policies determine when fringe benefits accrue and whether those benefits must be paid upon termination. "The WPCA does not create a right to fringe benefits. Rather, it reserves the question of fringe benefits to the bargaining process between employers and employees." Meadows v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 207 W.Va. at 216, 530 S.E.2d at 689. The Court has defined the word "accrued," as used in the WPCA, to mean "vested." According to the Meadows Court, "the concept of vesting is concerned with expressly enumerated conditions or requirements all of which must be fulfilled or satisfied before a benefit becomes a presently enforceable right. Because the WPCA contains no such conditions or requirements, the payment of fringe benefits can only be governed by the terms of employment found in employment policies promulgated by employers and agreed to by employees. Accordingly, the terms of the applicable employment policy, and not the WPCA, determine whether fringe benefits are included in the term 'wages' under W.Va. Code 21-5-1(c)." Meadows at 215-216, at 688-689 .