CHARLESTON - Three plaintiffs are suing Little Caesar's Pizza after they claim they were sexually harassed by management.
VDM Management Company II LLC, which is doing business as Little Caesar's Pizza; Louie Lovejoy, in his capacity as Director of Operations of VDM; Mike Insco, in his capacity as senior level manager of VDM; and John Doe were also named as defendants in the suit.
Kelsey Hill, Lindsey West and Tammy Rasnick claim soon after they began their employment with Little Caesar's Pizza, Lovejoy began making inappropriate sexual comments to them regarding themselves and co-workers, according to three complaints filed May 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
The plaintiffs claim Lovejoy would invite them to "hang out" and to attend parties he hosted, which the plaintiffs were aware was against VDM and Little Caesar's policies and did not want to spend time with Lovejoy, but felt their jobs depended on it.
Insco and Little Caesar's were aware of Lovejoy's continual sexual harassment, but took no action to correct the inappropriate sexual harassment, according to the suits.
In April, the plaintiffs were suspended for violating VDM and Little Caesar's policy against fraternization because they attended a party hosted by Lovejoy, even though they did not want to attend the party, but Lovejoy had indicated their jobs depended upon their attendance, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim they did not report Lovejoy's sexual harassment to management because of their fear of retaliation for doing so.
During their employment, the plaintiffs suffered continual sexual harassment and abuse, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants owed a duty to them to provide a safe work environment and to properly hire its managers so as to ensure employees would not be subjected to sexual abuse, sexual harassment or other such conduct while under its employ.
The defendants breached their duty by failing to supervise Lovejoy and by failing to take any corrective action against him after becoming aware of sexual abuse and harassment, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act and created a hostile work environment.
As a result of the defendants' acts and omissions, the plaintiffs suffered anxiety; humiliation; annoyance and inconvenience; emotional distress; pain and suffering; mental anguish; loss of ability to enjoy life; and other damages, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre-judgment interest. They are being represented by Aron A. Berry and Eric B. Hudnall.
The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-993, 14-C-994, 14-C-995