CHARLESTON – Two former employees are suing Zales and one of its employees for sexual harassment of two employees.
Ashley Bond worked for Zales in 2010 as a consultant and manager and Melanie Beaver was employed in August 2012 as a sales associate, according to two complaints filed Feb. 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
The plaintiffs claim during their employment they were supervised by Richard Broyles, who subjected them to a hostile work environment and sexual harassment.
The unwelcomed acts of Broyles included physically touching the plaintiffs; staring at their bodies and making inappropriate comments; directing inappropriate comments of a sexual and harassing nature toward them; and/or making inappropriate comments of a sexual and harassing nature, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim they refused Broyles' sexual advances and that his actions were intolerable and created the hostile work environment.
Despite reporting Broyles' actions to Zales, Zales failed to remedy the problem, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs were constructively discharged in May and December 2013.
The defendants' actions violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act and caused the plaintiffs damages, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim they suffered embarrassment and humiliation and that the defendants’ actions were willful, wanton and/or undertaken with reckless disregard and/or indifference to the rights of the plaintiffs.
Zales also failed to properly supervise Broyles to ensure that he would not sexually harass and/or create a hostile work environment for employees who he supervised and/or managed, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Todd S. Bailess and Joy B. Mega of Bailess Law.
Earlier this year, a similar lawsuit was filed against Zales and Broyles alleging the same conduct in Kanawha Circuit Court.
The cases are assigned to Circuit Judges Tod J. Kaufman and Louis Bloom.
Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers: 15-C-290, 15-C-291