WINFIELD -- A Cabell County woman is suing over claims her employment was terminated while she was seeking rehabilitation for substance abuse.

Melisa Rife filed a lawsuit June 23 in Putnam Circuit Court against Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc., citing retaliatory discharge.

According to the complaint, on March 9, while working as a production associate at the defendant's Buffalo plant, Rife informed her supervisors she needed to seek rehabilitation for substance abuse. Rife says the employee handbook stated Toyota would accommodate rehabilitation efforts on a one-time basis as long as the employee voluntarily sought help, which Rife did.

According to the lawsuit, Rife began behavioral therapy sessions, but on March 20, before the plaintiff had completed treatment, a Toyota representative informed Rife she was required to take a drug test, which allegedly was positive for substances not prescribed to Rife; results which Rife disputed.

Toyota terminated her employment April 4.

Toyota is accused of termination in interference with rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, retaliation for exercising rights and engaging in protected conduct under the Family and Medical Leave Act, gender discrimination, retaliatory discharge, negligent infliction of emotional distress, outrage and invasion of privacy.

Rife is seeking damages, back pay, court costs and reinstatement or front pay.

She is being represented in the case by attorneys Hoyt Glazer, Ben Sheridan and Mitchell L. Klein of Klein, Sheridan and Glazer LC in Huntington. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Joseph Reeder.

Putnam Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-178

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