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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from five state employees who claimed the state's switch of their pay cycles to every two weeks was unconstitutional.

The high court Tuesday affirmed a ruling last year by a Kanawha County circuit judge who granted summary judgment to the state.

The lawsuit was over a 2014 move by the Legislature to switch from a semi-monthly, or 24-week pay cycle, to a 26-week pay cycle. It alleged wage and equal protection violations and that the switch was a “pay grab” by the state.

The salaries of elected officials are set by statute, while most state employees are paid by contract and subject to change.

The justices noted that in 2017, for example, the petitioners were paid every penny of what they earned. The difference was that they did not receive payment for work performed in a December pay cycle until early January 2018.

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