CHARLESTON -— The state Department of Health and Human Resources and its secretary are being sued after a former employee claims to have been discriminated against.

Georgia Vela worked for the department in the Bureau of Children and Families since Feb. 23, 1998, and performed her duties in a competent and professional manner, according to a complaint filed Oct. 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Vela claims she was treated differently that younger employees and was discharged from her job on Sept. 30, 2007, as a result of her age, which was a violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

As a result, Vela claims to have suffered economic loss and will continue to suffer such loss in the future; and has suffered inconvenience, humiliation, impairment to her reputation and emotional distress.

Vela is suing for compensatory damages. Patrick S. Cassidy of Cassidy, Myers, Cogan & Voegelin, and Laura Spadaro are representing her.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-1932

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