We have previously reported on proposed amendments to the West Virginia Human Rights Act ("WVHRA"), which is most often recognized as a measure that prohibits discrimination on the basis of protected classes such as race, religion, gender, and disability to name a few. The WVHRA, however, defines a number of additional "unlawful discriminatory practices." House Bill 4328 offers an expansion of the WVHRA to include such a measure.
The West Virginia legislature voted to override Governor Tomblin's veto of Senate Bill 1, the "Workplace Freedom Act." The Governor vetoed the bill February 11th. In his veto message to the Senate, the Governor stated that he "never had a company cite 'right to work' as a barrier to relocating in West Virginia." The Republican majority disagreed with the Democratic Governor's assessment of the bill and overrode his veto by a vote of 18 to 16 in the Senate and 54 to 43 in the House of Delegates.
Individuals in West Virginia have long been able to bring private causes of action against insurers for violations of the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act ("UTPA"). In 2003, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that insurance claims adjusters, in addition to insurers, may be held personally liable for UTPA violations. Accordingly, individual claims adjusters found themselves exposed to liability for violations that occurred within the scope of their employment. House Bill 4286, if enacted, would reverse this case law and protect claims adjusters from liability under the UTPA.