The PSC did not allow West Virginia American to go through with most of the planned layoffs, and ordered them to keep at least 316 employees.
From 2007 to 2010, the water company's total employment ranged from 298 to 324 employees.
Laura Jordan, a spokeswoman for American West Virginia Water, said it's important to clarify that the national union isn't working on the recovery efforts of the Jan. 9 chemical leak that left 300,000 customers without water for days.
"Our human resources have in no way been constrained in our response efforts," Jordan said.
The PSC has repeatedly said that the water company has the flexibility to determine proper staffing levels, but in overruling most of the layoffs it said it was worried that West Virginia American had gone too far with its proposal.
"In this case, the Commission is concerned that the sudden reduction of approximately ten percent of the WVAWC workforce," the ruling says, "may implicate that statutory obligation of WVAWC to render safe and reasonable service and the Commission's statutory obligations to assure the maintenance of quality water service."
Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.