Ken was a foreman at Consolidation Coal Company. A fatality occurred on one of Ken’s shifts. That same night Ken’s mine superintendent came to his house for the very first time ever and suggested how Ken could tell mine inspectors that the dead coal miner had made a mistake which was the sole cause of his accident. Ken said he could not do that. He gave truthful testimony to state and federal mine inspectors. Two weeks later he was fired. Ken brought suit against Consolidation Coal Company alleging that he had been fired in violation of a public policy objective of the State of West Virginia; namely, that persons are expected to provide truthful testimony during the course of a mine safety investigation. A Monongalia County jury agreed with Ken and awarded him damages of $250,000.00.
David worked for a political subdivision in Marion County. David had evidence that public resources and monies were being abused, particularly in the form of one of his coworkers receiving payment for extravagant amounts of overtime. David brought this to the attention of his supervisor and threatened that unless something was done about it he would go public. Within a matter of days, David was fired on trumped up charges. David sued his employer and the individuals responsible for his termination under the West Virginia Whistle Blower Act and received a $275,000 verdict from a Marion County jury.
Bill was a longstanding WVU employee. One of Bill’s coworkers had complained to the Social Justice Office that his supervisor, a female, had created a hostile work environment because of sexual innuendo and unwanted physical contact. Bill gave a statement to the Social Justice Department’s investigators which corroborated these charges. When word of his statement got back to the supervisor, she then began a systematic pattern of abuse and retaliation against Bill, leading to a nervous breakdown. Eventually forced to choose between his health and his job, Bill quit but instituted a civil action in the Circuit Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia against WVU and his former supervisor. After a week long trial a Monongalia County jury agreed with Bill and awarded him and his wife damages in excess of $550,000.00.
Arlene was a single mother who worked for a temporary placement agency in Wheeling, West Virginia. At one point, while filling in for a co-worker, she received a call from one of her employers’ large corporate accounts chastising her for having sent an African-American male to fill the position. The customer asked her if she had not been told what his company’s preferences were. Shocked, she approached co-workers and eventually her supervisor and it was confirmed that the placement company went out of it’s way to accommodate the preferences of two or three of its larger customers who did not want to have African-Americans working for them. In fact, Arlene eventually learned that when an African-American approached the placement agency for hiring, his or her folder would be secretly coded in such a way that insiders would know at a glance that folder belonged to an African-American person, and consequently they would not be deemed suitable for employment with the discriminatory customers. When Arlene refused to go along with this, her employment was terminated. She sued the employer and a Monongalia County jury awarded her over $550,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.