By KYLA ASBURY
MORGANTOWN – A former employee is suing Monongalia County General Hospital after she claims she was harassed during her employment.
Regan M. Kirchner was employed at the hospital beginning in 2003 as a clinical aide and was transferred to the emergency room in 2006, according to a complaint filed May 19 in Monongalia Circuit Court.
Kirchner claims from 2006 until 2011, she was harassed by Jeff Haught, the clinical director.
The plaintiff reported Haught in writing for acts of sexual harassment, which she witnessed, including Haught, who was believed to be gay, inserting his finger into the anus of a 17-year-old post-distal male patient in April 2011 under the guise of taking a rectal temperature.
Kirchner claims she also witnessed the unsterile insertion of a catheter into another patient and a sexual harassment incident involving a new employee, Dan Thomas, where Haught took him into an examining room and had him remove his shirt under the guise of purporting to test the leads on a diagnostic device.
The plaintiff also witnessed Haught bear-hugging another male employee on the job known as Ethan Butcher, according to the suit.
Kirchner claims in 2013, Nancy Ord became the new clinical director of the ER and took an instant dislike to Kirchner and began writing her up for a series of minor policy violations and harassing her with micro-management.
Ord even had Kirchner followed by security guards to see if she was taking a smoke break and wrote her up for reporting that two patients had their names mixed up on charts and would have received the wrong treatment because she blamed Kirchner for the mistake, according to the suit.
Kirchner claims the harassment by Ord and Haught became so bad that they created a hostile work environment and forced her to seek medical treatment in February 2014, when she took approved medical leave for anxiety.
When Kirchner came back to work, the harassment continued and she applied for intermediate and long term disability on June 16, and she was off work until July 29 with a doctor's note, according to the suit.
Kirchner claims when she returned on July 29, she was told that her job had been listed and she was told to reapply. She reapplied for her old job and also applied for other jobs, but was never contacted by the hospital.
On Sept. 17, Kirchner was terminated from her employment at the hospital by letter, according to the suit. She applied for and received her unemployment compensation.
Kirchner claims she was discriminated against based on her age and was wrongfully discharged from her employment.
Kirchner is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Edward R. Kohout.
Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 15-C-330