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(a) An employee may initiate a civil action asserting that they were subjected to a violation of this chapter after the following sequence of events occurs: (i) the employee submits to the Department a factually supported written complaint describing the violation, and (ii) the Department forwards to the Employer the complaint and provides the Employer with an opportunity to either contest the alleged violation, in which case the Employer shall provide to the Department factual support for its position, or cure the alleged violation, in which case the Employer shall provide the Department with detail as to actions it has taken and will take to make the affected employee(s) whole and eliminate the basis for future similar complaints, and (iii) the Department has notified the complaining employee and the Employer in writing that the Department considers the complaint to be closed. The Department may consider a complaint closed because: the complaint has been cured by the Employer, or the Department has deemed the complaint justified and supported and has enforced it against the Employer to conclusion, or the Department has deemed the complaint unjustified or unsupported.
(b) Any claim or action filed under this chapter must be made within two years of the alleged conduct resulting in the complaint.
(c) A Covered Employee who prevails in a civil action pursuant to this section shall be entitled to an award of compensation for any damages sustained, including the payment of Predictability Pay unlawfully withheld, as a result of the violation, including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney's fees.
(Added Coun. J. 6-25-21, p. 32156, § 5)