CHARLESTON – A Putnam County woman is suing The Picture People Inc. after she claims her employment was wrongfully terminated.

Gretchen Steele had to undergo an emergency medical procedure and informed her supervisor about it, however, her supervisor advised her that even if she had a doctor's excuse, she would not have a job when she returned, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Steele claims her treating medical professionals told her that the medical procedure had to be done then or her life or health could be threatened.

On June 6, 2013, the defendant terminated Steele's employment, according to the suit.

Steele claims throughout her time working with the defendant, it would show favoritism to others, including employees who were non-white or were in relationships with black people.

The defendant discriminated against Steele based on her disability and terminated her employment based on her making a claim consistent with the Federal Medical Leave Act, according to the suit.

Steele claims she was also discriminated against based on her race.

Steele is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Christopher T. Pritt of Pritt & Pritt PLLC.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-1133

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