(a) A person who alleges that he is a victim of a violation of this article may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate injunctive relief or damages, or both, within one hundred eighty days after the occurrence of the alleged violation.

Terms Used In West Virginia Code 6C-1-4

  • Appropriate authority: means a federal, state, county or municipal government body, agency or organization having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement, regulatory violations, professional conduct or ethics, or waste. See West Virginia Code 6C-1-2
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Employee: means a person who performs a full or part-time service for wages, salary, or other remuneration under a contract of hire, written or oral, express or implied, for a public body. See West Virginia Code 6C-1-2
  • Employer: means a person supervising one or more employees, including the employee in question, a superior of that supervisor, or an agent of a public body. See West Virginia Code 6C-1-2
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • in writing: include any representation of words, letters or figures, whether by printing, engraving, writing or otherwise. See West Virginia Code 2-2-10
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Waste: means an employer or employee'. See West Virginia Code 6C-1-2
  • Whistle-blower: means a person who witnesses or has evidence of wrongdoing or waste while employed with a public body and who makes a good faith report of, or testifies to, the wrongdoing or waste, verbally or in writing, to one of the employee'. See West Virginia Code 6C-1-2
  • Wrongdoing: means a violation which is not of a merely technical or minimal nature of a federal or state statute or regulation, of a political subdivision ordinance or regulation or of a code of conduct or ethics designed to protect the interest of the public or the employer. See West Virginia Code 6C-1-2

(b) An employee alleging a violation of this article must show by a preponderance of the evidence that, prior to the alleged reprisal, the employee, or a person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the employee, had reported or was about to report in good faith, verbally or in writing, an instance of wrongdoing or waste to the employer or an appropriate authority.

(c) It shall be a defense to an action under this section if the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the action complained of occurred for separate and legitimate reasons, which are not merely pretexts.

(d) An employee covered by the civil service system who contests a civil service action, believing it to be motivated by his having made a disclosure of information may submit as admissible evidence any or all material relating to the action as whistle-blower and to the resulting alleged reprisal.