Understanding the West Virginia Patient Safety Act
If you have concerns about patient safety, you’re protected by law
Health care workers throughout West Virginia put their own health and safety on the line to care for patients. If you’re in the health care field, it’s likely because you have deep and abiding concern for the people in your care, and when their safety is at risk, you want to speak up. This is protected by West Virginia law.
The West Virginia Patient Safety Act says that health care workers, including doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, nurse’s aides, physical therapists, laboratory technicians, residents, interns, and anyone else who provides direct patient care, cannot be retaliated against for reporting misconduct or raising patient safety concerns in good faith. If your employer terminates your employment or takes other adverse employment action, you have recourse under West Virginia law, and an experienced employment law attorney can protect those rights.
If you are a health care worker, you need to know your rights under the Patient Safety Act. If you intend to make a report or are facing retaliation or discrimination for a report you made in good faith, Klie Law Offices is prepared to fight for you. Contact us for a free, confidential case evaluation.
What are Patient Safety Act violations?
If you are a health care worker who made a good-faith report of wrongdoing, advocated for better patient care or cooperated with an internal or government investigation, you are covered by the Patient Safety Act. Covered employees include but are not limited to:
- Physician’s assistants
- Nurse’s aides
- Physical therapists
- Laboratory technicians
If your employer fired you, laid you off, demoted you, or took any other adverse employment action in retaliation, that is a violation of the Patient Safety Act. It is also a violation of the Act to fail to protect your anonymity.
Legal recourse for Patient Safety Act violations
If you can prove your employer violated the Patient Safety Act, you may be eligible for:
- Reinstatement (getting your job back)
- Back pay (wages you lost due to being fired)
- Restoration of fringe benefits
- Actual damages (financial losses due to being fired)
- Attorney’s fees and expenses
However, winning a Patient Safety Act case requires experienced advocacy from a West Virginia attorney who knows the courts and the law. Your employer will likely argue that they had another reason to fire or demote you, unrelated to your advocacy for patient safety. Your lawyer’s job is to prove that their “reason” is pretextual and that you were indeed the victim of a violation of the Act.
That’s why we want to talk to you right away. Klie Law Offices is proud to stand up for West Virginia healthcare workers who advocate for patients. Schedule your free case evaluation today to find out what our Patient Safety Act lawyers can do for you.
Click here to download a printable version of "Health Care Workers’ Rights Under the West Virginia Patient Safety Act" infographic.