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State Raises Penalty for Punishing Whistleblowers

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A revised West Virginia law will increase the possible civil fine from $500 to $5,000 for government employers who threaten or retaliate against whistleblowers.

The measure passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jim Justice also authorizes firing them instead of the possible six-month suspension under current law.

It clarifies that the fines are owed by the violators themselves, not their agencies, and says a court finding of a violation will be considered official misconduct and can be used for termination.

The law prohibits firing, threatening or retaliating against a worker for making a good faith effort to report about wrongdoing or waste.


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