Former employee sues Smith Company Motor Cars for discrimination

CHARLESTON – A former employee is suing Smith Company Motor Cars, Inc., after she claims her employment was terminated based on her age and gender. Gerald N. Smith III was also named as a defendant in the suit. Amanda Butler was an employee of the defendants from November 2007 until Oct. 3, according to a complaint filed Nov. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Butler claims during her employment she was subjected to a continuous course of harassment by Smith because he wanted her to perform certain inappropriate accounting procedures. On Oct. 1, without warning and in violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act, the defendants suspended Butler without pay, according to the suit. Butler claims the defendants required her to return all company property, including relinquishing her dealer demo/company vehicle and invited her to remove all of her personal belongings and then barred her from the premises. Prior to Oct. 1, Butler agreed to purchase a 2005 Volvo S40 from the defendants in the amount of $6,500. However, following her suspension, the defendants breached their contract by selling the vehicle, according to the suit. On Oct. 3, the defendants sent Butler a letter advising her that her employment was terminated, but did not state in the letter the grounds for her termination, according to the suit. Butler claims her employment was terminated because of her age, her gender and in retaliation for her refusing to perform the illegal and inappropriate accounting practices. The defendants’ actions were willful, wanton or intentional and caused Butler embarrassment; humiliation; loss of honor, pride, dignity and integrity; and damaged her personal and professional reputation, according to the suit. Butler is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre-judgment interest. She is being represented by Gregory B. Chiartas. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom. Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-2365

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