WILLIAMSON – A Mingo County woman is suing Mountain Star after she claims she was discriminated against because she was pregnant.

Diann Hatfield was also named as a defendant in the suit. Mountain Star is doing business as Hardee's.

Melissa Jarrell was employed by Hardee's in Gilbert earning $7.25 per hour, according to a complaint filed in Mingo Circuit Court.

Jarrell claims she consistently performed her duties in a satisfactory manner and met the reasonable expectations of Mountain Star and was administered one warning while employed with the defendant.

During the scope of her employment, Jarrell became pregnant and continued to work until Nov. 24, according to the suit.

Jarrell claims on Nov. 24, she had become disabled with preeclampsia during her pregnancy and was required to take maternity leave from work for the remaining duration of her pregnancy.

While on maternity leave, Jarrell gave birth to her son on Dec. 5, and remained on maternity leave until Jan. 15, at which time she was released to return to work, according to the suit.

Jarrell claims on Jan. 16, she presented to work and was informed by Hatfield that work was unavailable and that she would be contacted when work became available.

The plaintiff continued to contact Hatfield until March about returning to her employment and on March 9, she was issued her final accrued vacation pay, according to the suit.

Jarrell claims the defendant discriminated against her because of a pregnancy disability and, in doing so, violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

The defendant also violated the WVHRA bu discriminating against Jarrell based on her sex, according to the suit.

Jarrell claims her employment was wrongfully terminated.

The defendants' actions were willful, wanton and/or undertaken with reckless disregard and/or reckless indifference to Jarrell's rights, according to the suit.

Jarrell is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Nathan D. Brown and Joshua S. Ferrell of Ferrell & Brown PLLC.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Miki Thompson.

Mingo Circuit Court case number: 15-C-140

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