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Chapter 55     Entire Code


ARTICLE 1. STATUTE OF FRAUDS.

ARTICLE 2. LIMITATION OF ACTIONS AND SUITS.

ARTICLE 2A. LIMITATION ON FOREIGN CLAIMS.

ARTICLE 3. UNLAWFUL ENTRY OR DETAINER.

ARTICLE 3A. REMEDIES FOR WRONGFUL OCCUPATION OF RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PROPERTY.

ARTICLE 3B. REMEDIES FOR WRONGFUL OCCUPATION OF FACTORY-BUILT HOME SITE.

ARTICLE 4. EJECTMENT.

ARTICLE 5. ALLOWANCE FOR IMPROVEMENTS.

ARTICLE 6. RECOVERY OF PERSONAL PROPERTY.

ARTICLE 7. ACTIONS FOR INJURIES.

ARTICLE 7A. LIABILITY OF PARENTS.

ARTICLE 7B. MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY.

ARTICLE 7C. IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL LIABILITY FOR QUALIFIED DIRECTORS OF CERTAIN GOVERNMENTAL AND NONPROFIT ENTITIES.

ARTICLE 7D. GOOD SAMARITAN FOOD DONATION ACT.

ARTICLE 7F. ASBESTOS BANKRUPTCY TRUST CLAIMS TRANSPARENCY ACT.

ARTICLE 7G. ASBESTOS AND SILICA CLAIMS PRIORITIES ACT.

ARTICLE 7H. IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL LIABILITY FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE PLANS AND PERSONNEL ASSOCIATED WITH MEDICAL AND DENTAL SCHOOLS.

ARTICLE 7I. SUCCESSOR ASBESTOS-RELATED LIABILITY.

ARTICLE 7J. FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF AN ELDERLY PERSON, PROTECTED PERSON OR INCAPACITATED ADULT.

ARTICLE 7K. IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL LIABILITY FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH FACILITIES AND RESIDENTIAL RECOVERY FACILITIES.

ARTICLE 8. ACTIONS ON CONTRACTS.

ARTICLE 9. GAMING CONTRACTS.

ARTICLE 10. ARBITRATION.

ARTICLE 11. LIS PENDENS.

ARTICLE 12. JUDICIAL SALES.

ARTICLE 12A. LEASE AND CONVEYANCE OF MINERAL INTERESTS OWNED BY MISSING OR UNKNOWN OWNERS OR ABANDONING OWNERS.

ARTICLE 13. UNIFORM DECLARATORY JUDGMENTS ACT.

ARTICLE 14. UNIFORM ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS ACT.

ARTICLE 15. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION COMMISSION.

ARTICLE 16. CIVIL REMEDY FOR WORTHLESS CHECK.

ARTICLE 17. PROCEDURES FOR CERTAIN ACTIONS AGAINST THE STATE.

ARTICLE 18. LIMITATIONS OF ACTIONS REGARDING FIREARMS MANUFACTURE AND SALE.

ARTICLE 7E. DUTY TO MITIGATE DAMAGES IN EMPLOYMENT CLAIMS.

§55-7E-1. Definitions.

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.

§55-7E-2. Legislative findings and declaration of purpose.

(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.

§55-7E-3. Statutory or common law employment claims; duty to mitigate damages.

(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.

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