W. Va. Code R. § 64-59-17 - Patients' Labor, Earnings and Funds
17.1. Patient Labor Generally
17.1.1. No patient may be required to perform labor which involves the operation and maintenance of the mental health facility. Privileges or release from the facility shall not be conditional upon the performance of labor governed by this rule.
17.1.2. Patients may voluntarily engage in labor which involves the operation and maintenance of the mental health facility if the labor is compensated in accordance with the requirements of relevant state and federal law and regulations.
17.1.2.a. Patients who are employed to perform work of economic benefit to the facility shall be paid wages which are commensurate with those paid workers with no disability for essentially the same type, quality, and quantity of work.
17.1.2.b. The facility shall maintain for each patient who is employed by the facility, and have available for inspection, records of: the prevailing wages paid workers with no disability in similar jobs; production standards for average workers with no disability performing similar jobs; and the productivity of each patient. These records shall be reviewed at least quarterly.
17.1.2.c. Patients may not be regularly involved in the care, feeding, clothing, training, or supervision of other patients.
17.2. Vocational Training. Patients may be required to perform vocational training tasks which do not involve the operation and maintenance of the facility, so long as an assignment:
17.2.1. Lasts no longer than four months;
17.2.2. Is an integrated part of the patient's interdisciplinary program plan;
17.2.3. Has been approved as a program activity by the professional responsible for the vocational training program;
17.2.4. Is supervised by a staff member.
17.3. Personal Housekeeping. Patients may be required to perform personal housekeeping tasks, such as making their bed, tidying their room, doing their laundry, etc.
17.4. Work Training or Industrial Therapy Program.
17.4.1. Before a patient begins any work training or industrial therapy program, there shall be a written plan outlining goals, activities, and job responsibilities within the program.
17.4.1.a. Work Activity Center. The entire facility, or any part thereof, may be designated a work activities center if no patient participating in work activities is capable of more than 25 percent of the productivity of workers with no disability performing the same or comparable type work. Every patient involved in the program shall be evaluated in terms of his or her level of productivity, and the evaluation shall be reviewed and documented no less than every three months. An exception may be made when an individual patient is unable to meet the productivity level of the rest of the group. For these patients, minimum wages below those paid to other workers may be permitted.
17.4.1.b. Sheltered Workshops. Approval for a sheltered workshop may be obtained for a specific workshop program. Sheltered workshops operated by a facility are required to be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws, rules, and regulations.
17.4.1.c. Training and Evaluation Program. A certificate can be obtained for programs which provide competent instruction and supervision and are designed to determine a working patient's potential and to teach adjustment to a work environment or the skills related to one or more types of work. The duration of the evaluation and training shall depend upon the total facts of the situation, but in no case shall exceed 12 months. Time spent in an employment relationship in the institution, prior to the effective date of participation in the training program shall be counted in determining the duration of the work evaluation and training. It is not permissible to place a patient who has been involved in any work situation within the facility for more than 12 months in a work and training evaluation program without pay.
17.5. Access to Personal Funds.
17.5.1. There shall be procedures, in writing, to ensure a patient's reasonable access to his or her personal funds.
17.5.2. Patients not adjudicated incompetent shall have access to their funds whenever and in any amount they wish unless their use of funds proves detrimental to their course of treatment. In these cases, the patient's treatment team shall document in the patient's medical record the withholding of funds for a limited period of time.
17.5.3. Patients adjudicated incompetent and appointed a conservator or other with financial authority shall have the same access to their funds as set forth in subdivision 17.5.2 of this rule, subject to reasonable limitations by their conservator. In these cases, the patient's medical record shall document the withholding of the patient's funds or the limitations set for the patient's access to his or her funds.
17.5.4. A patient or relative may be required to pay for care and treatment in a mental health facility according to the ability to pay; however, no patient shall be denied treatment because they are not able to pay.
17.6. Notification. All patients assigned to a work situation shall be informed of the rights provided by this rule. The information shall be provided as follows:
17.6.1. The patient workers and their responsible relative or legal representative may be notified in writing of these rights;
17.6.2. Written notification of rights under this rule shall be posted in every living unit; and
17.6.3. Efforts shall be made to notify all patients orally by group meeting or other direct oral notice.
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