CHARLESTON -- A former worker is suing his employer on a variety of labor violation claims.

Jessie Lee Silva filed a lawsuit May 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Qualawash Holdings and supervisor Melissa Cavender, citing unlawful harassment based on a disability, retaliation under the Human Rights Act, disability discrimination, wrongful discharge, violation of West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act on final wages and personal leave, use of insulting words and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit states Sparkle Cleaning Service L.L.C hired Silva as a mechanic in August 2010 and Qualawash bought Sparkle in December 2012. The company knew Silva suffered from certain physical and mental disabilities and took medication. Silva was moved to the position of maintenance worker/tank washer where he was left unsupervised, alone, untrained and without proper equipment to safely do his job, the complaint states.

Silva was also subjected to verbal abuse and his name was forged on a document implementing him as leaving a co-worker to perform tank-washing duties alone in violation of policy, the complaint states.

Silva was taken to the hospital in December 2013 with breathing problems related to his work, the complaint states. He was fired Jan. 16, 2014, approximately two weeks after he returned to work, according to the complaint.

Silva is seeking damages of back pay, benefits since the date of his injury, compensatory damages, punitive damages and court costs.

He is being represented by George E. Chamberlain IV of Farmer, Cline & Campbell P.L.L.C. of Morgantown. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-969

 

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