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§6C-1-2. Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this article have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) "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; or a member, officer, agent, representative or supervisory employee of the body, agency or organization. The term includes, but is not limited to, the office of the Attorney General, the office of the State Auditor, the commission on special investigations, the Legislature and committees of the Legislature having the power and duty to investigate criminal law enforcement, regulatory violations, professional conduct or ethics, or waste.

(b) "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.

(c) "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.

(d) "Good faith report" means a report of conduct defined in this article as wrongdoing or waste which is made without malice or consideration of personal benefit and which the person making the report has reasonable cause to believe is true.

(e) "Public body" means any of the following:

(1) A department, division, officer, agency, bureau, board, commission, court in its nonjudicial functions only, council, institution, spending unit, authority or other instrumentality of the State of West Virginia;

(2) A commission, council, department, agency, board, court, in its nonjudicial functions only, official, special district, corporation or other instrumentality of a county or a municipality or a regional or joint governing body of one or more counties or municipalities; or

(3) Any other body which is created by state or political subdivision authority or which is funded by thirty-five percent or more by or through state or political subdivision authority, or a member or employee of that body.

(f) "Waste" means an employer or employee's conduct or omissions which result in substantial abuse, misuse, destruction or loss of funds or resources belonging to or derived from federal, state or political subdivision sources.

(g) "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's superiors, to an agent of the employer or to an appropriate authority.

(h) "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.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2020 Regular Session
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