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Category Archive
Employment Law
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Understanding the Duty to Provide Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Employees

The West Virginia Human Rights Act requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to disabled employees where necessary to allow them to perform their job duties. In a recent decision, the state Supreme Court of Appeals has put an important limitation on the scope of that requirement for both public and private employment. The facts in Read More

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Private Employee Fired for Reporting Alleged Criminal Activity Cannot Bring Retaliatory Discharge Suit

Although West Virginia is an at will employment state, where employers may normally fire their employees with or without cause, the state Supreme Court of Appeals has made an exception when a termination would violate a substantial public policy. However, there are limits on which policies are substantial enough to support a suit, as a Read More

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West Virginia Supreme Court Tightens Pleading Standards in Wrongful Discharge Cases

West Virginia is an “at will” employment state, where an employer may normally fire its employees with or without cause, but an exception to that rule is when the termination would violate a principle of public policy. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held in Feliciano v. 7-Eleven, Inc. that a convenience store did Read More

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Court Finds Termination of Employment Does Not Contravene the Family and Medical Leave Act

From a distance, when an employer terminates an employee right after that employee takes medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), it looks suspicious. And in fact, there is a presumption in the federal Fourth Circuit that such suspicious circumstances lead to a presumption of wrongful termination — that the employer wrongfully Read More

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State High Court Rules Employee Failed to Exhaust Administrative Remedies for Wrongful Termination Claim

Pamela Schade was a program coordinator for the West Virginia University (WVU) National Environmental Services Center (NESC). In 2005, Schade discovered that a former employee of the NESC was being paid despite no longer working there, and she filed a report with WVU’s Office of Social Justice. A supervisor tried to deter her inquiry, but Read More

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An Overview of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act

All wage payments in West Virginia are regulated and enforced by the state Division of Labor under the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act, unless federal statute preempts state law. Here is a brief overview of some of the stipulations included in the law: Frequency: Employees must be paid at least twice every month Read More

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West Virginia Supreme Court Emphasizes Heightened Pleading Standard in Cases Where Qualified Immunity Is Applicable

The 2017 case West Virginia Board of Education v. Zelda Croaff featured the state Board of Education (WVBE) appealing the decision of the circuit court to deny its motion of dismissal of the underlying case that alleged a cause of action for negligence resulting in personal injury. The West Virginia Supreme Court agreed with WVBE, Read More

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Where Do Government Facebook Posts Implicate Free Speech Rights and Give Rise to a Harless Claim?

Recently, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia heard the case of Douglas A. Day vs. West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety and the West Virginia Division of Protective Services. The case involved issues of free speech in the workplace and the question of when a case meets the precedents set Read More

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How Far Does Free Speech Extend into the Workplace?

Everyone who lives in the United States has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But how far does that right extend into the workplace? First, it is important to understand the general limitations that apply to the freedom of speech. A person’s First Amendment rights only apply if the government is attempting to restrict Read More

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Will an Arbitration Agreement Hold Up in Court?

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States heard the case of Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis. The case dealt with the issue of whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) has more authority over arbitration agreements made between employers and employees than the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This issue featured three similar Read More

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