Woman says supervisor at IHOP sexually harassed her

CHARLESTON – A woman is suing the International House of Pancakes and two IHOP employees for damages related to sexual harassment. Carrier Pontier filed a lawsuit April 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Sharp #4502 Inc., doing business as International House of Pancakes, Roderick Blue and John Whittington. Pontier claims she started working at the IHOP in Kanawha County in July 2007. Blue was her supervisory, the complaint says. Shortly after she was hired, Pontier claims that Blue subjected her to unwanted sexual innuendo and sexual touching. Pontier claims that Blue repeatedly asked to see her genitalia and at one point asked her: "When are we going to get together and have sex?" On other occasions, Pontier claims Blue untied her apron and rubbed his penis against her buttocks. Pontier says she asked Blue repeatedly to stop, but this allegedly did not dissuade him. Pontier says she reported the behavior to the Whittington, director of operations for IHOP, and the restaurant manager. At first, Pontier claims, Whittington did nothing about her complaint, but finally called a meeting with Blue. According to the complaint, an investigation showed that Blue had sexually harassed the plaintiff. Blue was suspended from work, but was allowed to return on a different shift than Pontier, the complaint says. Pontier said she ultimately had to resign from her job. She's seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Mark French and Matthew Criswell are representing the plaintiff. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman. Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-678

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