Protecting State Employees From Retaliation in Morgantown, Clarksburg and Parkersburg
Are you a public employee who was fired or treated differently after you reported unlawful conduct, a violation of the code of ethics, waste or misuse of public funds or resources?
As a public employee, you help uphold standards in the important work you do for our state. When you notice someone engaging in unlawful conduct or activity you believe violates the code of conduct, you have the right to report them. If you are fired, suspended, demoted, threatened, or your job conditions change, you may have a case under the West Virginia Whistleblower Act.
The West Virginia Whistle-blower Law
The West Virginia Whistle-blower protects full and part-time public employees who work for the State of West Virginia or its agencies. The goal of the Whistleblower Act is to encourage employees to speak up against unlawful conduct, violations of the code of ethic, or misuse of funds. To be protected under the Whistleblower Act, you must report the wrongdoing either verbally or in writing to the appropriate authority. This could mean a supervisor, law enforcement, the Attorney General or State Auditor.
We Hold Employers Who Violate the Whistle-blower Law Accountable
Bailess Law Firm recognizes the positive impact of public workers in our state. We have zero tolerance for violations of the Whistle-blower Law. Our West Virginia Whistle-blower Lawyers hold employers accountable for engaging in discriminatory or retaliatory behavior. This can include:
- Firing a public employee after they report a violation or misuse of funds or resources
- Harassing or threatening a public employee after they make a report of wrongdoing
- Denying a promotion after a report is made
- Retaliation for reporting unlawful conduct or misuse of funds
Protection For West Virginia State Employees
Under the West Virginia Whistle-blower Law, a full or part-time public employee working in the State of West Virginia who reports wrongdoing or waste is protected against discharge, discrimination, or retaliation. According to the law, wrongdoing is defined as a violation of state or federal laws or regulations or of a code of conduct or ethics designed to protect the interest of the public or the employer. Waste is defined as a misuse of funds or resources.
What Happens if An Employer Violates the West Virginia Whistle-blower Law?
You do not have to file a grievance in order to have a case under the West Virginia Whistle-blower Law. Rather, you can file a lawsuit directly in State Court. If you work for a state agency like WV DHHR or WV DOT, you will have to file the proper notice prior to filing your lawsuit. Keep in mind there are deadlines to file a lawsuit under the West Virginia Whistle-blower Law. Your best option is to contact a skilled whistleblower law firm like Bailess Law Firm to discuss your options. If you are successful with your case, you may be entitled to the following damages:
- Lost wages (back pay and front pay)
- Emotional distress/mental anguish
- Loss of dignity, embarrassment, humiliation
- Punitive damages
- Job reinstatement
If you are a public employee and you have been fired, threatened, or otherwise discriminated or retaliated against after reporting wrongdoing or misuse of funds or at your workplace, our West Virginia Workplace Whistle-blower Lawyers can help you hold your employer accountable. We understand the sensitive nature of your complaints and respect your confidentiality.