You spend a good deal of your waking hours at work, and you should be able to do your job without being subjected to harassment, discrimination, unsafe conditions, or other unlawful treatment. Unfortunately, these things can and do occur in workplaces throughout West Virginia, and when employees report mistreatment, hazards, or illegal activity, they often find themselves facing retaliation from their employer. Sound familiar? If so, one thing is certain: You need an experienced and highly skilled employment law attorney.
Fortunately, you've come to the right place. At Bailess Law Firm, our distinguished trial attorneys help victims of workplace retaliation understand their employment rights and explore their options for compensation. Our reputation as fierce litigators precedes us. Hiring our firm to represent you puts your employer and their defense team on notice that they should take your case seriously.
Here's what you should know about West Virginia workplace retaliation cases and how our esteemed lawyers can fight to help you recover fair damages.
The West Virginia Human Rights Act Protects Employees From Retaliation
Don't let what you've heard about West Virginia's "at-will" employment laws trick you into thinking there's no recourse for workers who've experienced retaliation. State and federal laws protect employees from illegal retaliatory actions. Specifically, the West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employers with 12 or more employees from discriminating or retaliating against workers due to race, gender, disability, religion, or other protected characteristics. Additionally, federal employment laws protect workers from retaliation for reporting the following conditions:
- Unsafe work environment
- Faulty equipment or machinery
- Patient abuse
- Poor water quality
- USERRA violations
- Mining safety
- Unsafe vehicles
- Government waste
These same laws protect you from retaliation for taking family or medical leave (FMLA) or for refusing to submit to a lie detector test.
Recognizing Retaliation in the Workplace
Workplace retaliation can take many forms. However, generally speaking, retaliatory actions are those intended to punish an employee for reporting wrongdoing to human resources or law enforcement or seeking legal counsel. Common examples of employer retaliation include:
- Being fired from your position
- Demotion to a lower-ranking or lower-paying position
- Being denied a promotion
- Harassment (sexually or otherwise)
- Intentional exclusion from staff meetings, training exercises, or other activities available to other employees
- Undesirable work assignments or schedules
- Reduction in pay or hours
- Receiving an unwarranted write-up or negative performance review
- Losing employee benefits
Not sure if your employer's actions rise to the level of unlawful workplace retaliation? Talk to us about your case.
Holding Your Employer Accountable
Employer retaliation can turn even the best jobs into miserable places to work. If you've experienced retaliation for reporting discrimination, harassment, or unsafe conditions, you can take legal action to hold your employer accountable—and we can help.
Our tenacious attorneys will thoroughly investigate your workplace retaliation case. We will gather evidence, talk to witnesses, consult experts, subpoena documents, and work to build a strong claim for damages. Depending on the circumstances of your retaliation claim, we may be able to help you recover compensation for lost pay, pain and suffering, and other losses. In some cases, a judge or jury may award punitive damages to punish an employer for extreme actions.
Many workplace retaliation cases settle pre-suit, but our lawyers prepare every case as if it's going all the way to trial—so you can rest assured that we'll never try to get you to settle for less than you deserve just to avoid courtroom litigation.
Schedule an Appointment to Discuss Your Workplace Retaliation Case
Are you ready to find out what Bailess Law Firm's exceptional attorneys can do for you? Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. Don't wait—West Virginia gives you just two years from the date of the retaliatory action to file your lawsuit.