West Virginia Code
1 - STATUTE OF FRAUDS
2 - LIMITATION OF ACTIONS AND SUITS
2A - LIMITATION ON FOREIGN CLAIMS
3 - UNLAWFUL ENTRY OR DETAINER
3A - REMEDIES FOR WRONGFUL OCCUPATI
3B - REMEDIES FOR WRONGFUL OCCUPATI
4 - EJECTMENT
5 - ALLOWANCE FOR IMPROVEMENTS
6 - RECOVERY OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
7 - ACTIONS FOR INJURIES
7A - LIABILITY OF PARENTS
7B - MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
7C - IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL LIABILITY
7D - GOOD SAMARITAN FOOD DONATION A
7F - ASBESTOS BANKRUPTCY TRUST CLAI
7G - ASBESTOS AND SILICA CLAIMS PRI
7H - IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL LIABILITY
7I - SUCCESSOR ASBESTOS-RELATED LIA
7J - FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF AN E
8 - ACTIONS ON CONTRACTS
9 - GAMING CONTRACTS
10 - ARBITRATION
11 - LIS PENDENS
12 - JUDICIAL SALES
12A - LEASE AND CONVEYANCE OF MINE
13 - UNIFORM DECLARATORY JUDGMENTS
14 - UNIFORM ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIG
15 - ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTIO
16 - CIVIL REMEDY FOR WORTHLESS CH
17 - PROCEDURES FOR CERTAIN ACTION
18 - LIMITATIONS OF ACTIONS REGARD
CHAPTER 55. ACTIONS, SUITS AND ARBITRATION; JUDICIAL SALE.
ARTICLE 7E. DUTY TO MITIGATE DAMAGES IN EMPLOYMENT CLAIMS.
In this article:
(a) "Back pay" means the wages that an employee would have earned, had the employee not suffered from an adverse employment action, from the time of the adverse employment action through the time of trial.
(b) "Front pay" means the wages that an employee would have earned, had the employee not suffered from an adverse employment action, from the time of trial through a future date.
(a) The Legislature finds that:
(1) Employees of this state are entitled to be free from unlawful discrimination, wrongful discharge and unlawful retaliation in the workplace. Employers are often confronted with difficult choices in the hiring, discipline, promotion, layoff and discharge of employees.
(2) The citizens and employers of this state are entitled to a legal system that provides adequate and reasonable compensation to those persons who have been subjected to unlawful employment actions, a legal system that is fair, predictable in its outcomes, and a legal system that functions within the mainstream of American jurisprudence.
(3) The goal of compensation remedies in employment law cases is to make the victim of unlawful workplace actions whole, including back pay; reinstatement or some amount of front pay in lieu of reinstatement; and under certain statutes, attorney's fees for the successful plaintiff.
(4) In West Virginia, the amount of damages recently awarded in statutory and common law employment cases have been inconsistent with established federal law and the law of surrounding states. This lack of uniformity in the law puts our state and its businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
(b) The purpose of this article is to provide a framework for adequate and reasonable compensation to those persons who have been subjected to an unlawful employment action, but to ensure that compensation does not far exceed the goal of making a wronged employee whole.
(a) In any employment law cause of action against a current or former employer, regardless of whether the cause of action arises from a statutory right created by the Legislature or a cause of action arising under the common law of West Virginia, the plaintiff has an affirmative duty to mitigate past and future lost wages, regardless of whether the plaintiff can prove the defendant employer acted with malice or malicious intent, or in willful disregard of the plaintiff's rights. The malice exception to the duty to mitigate damages is abolished. Unmitigated or flat back pay and front pay awards are not an available remedy. Any award of back pay or front pay by a commission, court or jury shall be reduced by the amount of interim earnings or the amount earnable with reasonable diligence by the plaintiff. It is the defendant's burden to prove the lack of reasonable diligence.
(b) In any employment law claim or cause of action, the trial court shall make a preliminary ruling on the appropriateness of the remedy of reinstatement versus front pay if such remedies are sought by the plaintiff. If front pay is determined to be the appropriate remedy, the amount of front pay, if any, to be awarded shall be an issue for the trial judge to decide.