WHEELING - Four West Virginia residents are suing state companies, claiming wrongful termination because of their age.

Rebecca Carey, Janice K. Tyler, Joyce S. Williams and Arelena Horner filed a complaint jointly on Dec. 29 against Northern Panhandle Employment & Training Council; Multi-County Community Action against Poverty, Inc. also known as Multi-Cap, Inc.; Northern Panhandle Workforce Investment Board, Inc.; Jill Beall and Diane Corey, after each was constructively discharged.

Carey was employed by Multi-Cap on Aug. 23, 2004, as a Customer Service Representative, until May 9, 2005. Starting in January of 2005, Beall was in a supervisory position over Carey.

"During the course of her supervision of Carey, Beall made disparaging remarks about senior citizens and African Americans, to the effect that she would never hire any blacks or persons over the age of 55," the suit states.

Carey resigned her job with Multi-Cap on May 9, 2005, which resignation constitutes constructive discharge. At that time, she was 51 years old.

The suit claims Multi-Cap and Beall conspired together to cause economic loss to plaintiff as alleged herein as a result of her age. As a result, Carey suffered economic loss, and continues to experience economic loss.

Tyler was hired by NPETC on Jan. 31, 2002, as a case manager and trade act adjustment representative. In August 2005, Beall assumed the duties of the then executive director of NPETC while the regular director was on vacation. During this time, she caused a number of new employees to be hired by NPETC, creating a strain of the ability of NPETC to meet payroll and pay taxes.

Beall had made her animosity to senior employees known and had targeted at least three employees over the age of 50 for termination. At the time of her termination, Tyler was 58 years old.

As a result of her termination, Tyler suffered economic loss, and continues to experience economic loss.

Joyce Williams was hired by NPETC on Oct. 11, 2004, as a bookkeeper. On Dec. 12, 2005, Williams took medical leave because of migraine headache as a result of the hostile workplace created by defendants.

On. Dec. 19, 2005, she was advised her employment had been terminated. At that time, she was 57 years old.

As a result of her termination, Williams suffered economic loss, and continues to experience economic loss.

Arelena Horner was hired by NPETC in January 2001 as a case manager. On Dec. 14, 2005, Horner was asked by WIB and by Corey to "back date" certain "benchmark" forms to allow WIB to obtain funding for NPETC, which Horner refused to do.

When Horner brought the request to the attention of Beall, Beall advised NPETC was in financial crisis and needed to make more money, and that Horner should get as many bench marks as she could out to make the most money.

After she refused, Horner was subjected to a hostile work place and on Dec. 30, 2005, was informed she would be taking a paycut because of the financial crisis NPETC was having.

As a result of her conditions of employment becoming intolerable, Horner took medical leave on Jan. 3, 2006, and officially resigned on Jan. 20. Resignation operates as a constructive discharge.

At that time, Horner was 57 years old.

"NPETC, WIB, Beall and Corey conspired with each other to cause economic loss to plaintiff as alleged herein as a result of her age," the suit states. All of the actions, they claim, are against West Virginia Code.

Carey, Tyler, Williams and Horner are seeking compensatory damages for the special and general damages, past and future, punitive damages and court costs.

Ohio Circuit Court case number 06-C-475

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