2014 Arkansas Code
Title 21 - Public Officers and Employees
Chapter 1 - General Provisions
Subchapter 6 - Arkansas Whistle-Blower Act
§ 21-1-604 - Civil liability.

AR Code § 21-1-604 (2014) What's This?

(a) A public employee who alleges a violation of this subchapter may bring a civil action for appropriate injunctive relief or actual damages, or both, within one hundred eighty (180) calendar days after the occurrence of the alleged violation of this subchapter.

(b) An action commenced under this section may be brought in the circuit court for the county where the alleged violation occurred, for the county where the complainant resides, or in the Pulaski County Circuit Court if the complaint is filed against an agency, department, or institution of state government.

(c) To prevail in an action brought under the authority of this section, the public employee shall establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the employee has suffered an adverse action because the employee or a person acting on his or her behalf engaged or intended to engage in an activity protected under this subchapter.

(d) As used in this section, "damages" means damages for a job-related injury or loss caused by each violation of this subchapter, including, but not limited to, fringe benefits, retirement service credit, compensation for lost wages, benefits, and any other remuneration, and reasonable court costs and attorneys' fees.

(e) (1) A public employer shall have an affirmative defense to a civil action brought by a public employee under this subchapter if the adverse action taken against a public employee was due to employee misconduct, poor job performance, or a reduction in workforce unrelated to a communication made pursuant to ยง 21-1-603.

(2) The public employer must prove the existence of the public employee's misconduct unrelated to the communication by a preponderance of the evidence.

(f) (1) In the event the Office of Personnel Management of the Division of Management Services of the Department of Finance and Administration implements an employee grievance mediation program, a public employee or public employer may voluntarily participate in mediation under the office's mediation program if either one wishes to resolve a dispute between them that involves an adverse action taken against the public employee.

(2) Voluntary mediation shall occur before a civil action in which the public employee and public employer are parties has been initiated in a court.

(3) The Director of the Department of Finance and Administration shall adopt voluntary mediation application and request forms.

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