HUNTINGTON - Three lawsuits have been filed against JCPenney Corporation Inc. after three former employees claim they were unlawfully retaliated against.

Jonathan Maxwell was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Prior to March 2012, Leslie C. Uylenbroek, Brittany L. Chandler and Caitlin Jenkins were employed by JCPenney and worked at the Sephora counter located within the JCPenney in Barboursville, according to three complaints filed Nov. 21 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim Maxwell made inappropriate, derogatory and sexual comments, suggestions and jokes to them and created a sexually hostile work environment.

Despite the plaintiffs notifying the store's manager and assistant manager of the comments, suggestions and jokes made by Maxwell, JCPeney made an inadequate investigation into the allegations and, contrary to the evidence presented, found that neither a sexual harassment or a sexually hostile work environment was created, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim in July 2012, Jenkins terminated her employment due to Maxwell's inappropriate and sexual comments, suggestions and jokes and Uylenbroek and Chandler continued their employment until they were discharged from their employment in June.

Maxwell's illegal and inappropriate conduct toward the plaintiffs were unwelcome, were based on their sex and was sufficiently severe and/or pervasive as to alter the conditions of their employment by creating an abusive work environment, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants' conduct constitutes sex discrimination and they were retaliated against because they made complaints against Maxwell.

Because of the defendants' actions, the plaintiffs suffered unwanted, unwelcome, hostile and/or sexual advances; humiliation; annoyance and inconvenience; degradation and mortification; invasion of privacy; their personal dignity affronted; emotional pain and suffering; and lost wages, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by Mark W. Carbone and Jeffrey G. Blaydes of Carbone & Blaydes PLLC.

Cabell Circuit Court case numbers: 13-C-904, 13-C-905, 13-C-907

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