CHARLESTON - A Fayette County woman is suing New River Pizza LLC for allegedly discriminating against her because of her race.

Erica L. Woods was employed at Pizza Hut in Smither for approximately five-and-a-half years and at the time of her termination, she was a shift manager, according to a complaint filed Aug. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Charleston.

Woods claims in December 2010, she was scheduled off for Christmas and when she asked the store manager, John Chatman, why, he explained that it was so she could be with her children.

When Woods explained that she had no children, Chatman responded that he believed "all 'young black girls' in that area had children," according to the suit.

Woods claims another co-worker said he was surprise of her pleasant nature, explaining that he had heard she was an "angry black woman."

In addition, Woods also heard Chatman refer to two young African-American males who worked at the restaurant as gangsters, according to the suit.

Woods claims in January 2011, she asked for a pay increase and on Jan. 27, 2011, she was told she was no longer needed at the restaurant and her employment was terminated.

The defendant discriminated against Woods and harassed her, according to the suit.

Woods is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Michael T. Clifford and Richelle K. Garlow.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Charleston case number: 2:13-cv-21767

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