Chili's server says she was sexually harassed by managers

By Melody Dareing | Apr 28, 2014

CHARLESTON -- A restaurant server is suing her former employer and two managers, claiming one of the managers sexually harassed her.

Kristen Weddington filed a lawsuit March 28 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Chili’s of West Virginia Inc., doing business as Chili’s Bar and Grill, Brinker International, her direct supervisor Richard Merkel and supervisor Michael Botkins, citing sexual harassment, unlawful retaliation and conduct warranting punitive damages.

The lawsuit states Botkins subjected Weddington and other co-workers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature.

She reported the problem to management, including Merkel, and was terminated from her job, the complaint states.

Weddington is seeking general damages including back pay, front pay and lost benefits, damages for mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, aggravation, inconvenience and damage to her reputation, punitive damages to be decided by a jury, plus court costs.

She is represented by John Einreinhofer of the Law Offices of John Einreinhofer. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-601

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