Fairmont Supply wants harassment case moved to federal court

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 17, 2014

CLARKSBURG – A company accused of harassing one of its workers seeks to have a lawsuit filed against it removed to federal court.

Cacie Biddle originally filed her complaint June 9 in Marion Circuit Court, saying her former employer, Fairmont Supply Company of Portage, Ind., retaliated against her in violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act. Fairmont Supply Company sought to have the case removed to federal court July 17.

In her complaint, Biddle accused Fairmont Supply Company of providing a hostile work environment that subjected her to unwelcome harassment.

For example, Biddle says she began to experience issues with her supervisor. After complaining to human resources, Biddle was fired for supposedly poor job performance on Feb. 15, 2013, according to her complaint.

However, Biddle claims until her termination she had never received any documentation of reprimands. Instead, due to her superior job performance, she was actually given additional duties, such as assisting in writing a training manual for safety and providing pictures of her warehouse to be used in other job sites, the suit states.

Biddle says she was terminated in retaliation for her complaints about a regional manager--an unlawful retaliation for her actions. Due to her work environment, Biddle says she lost wages and benefits, suffered emotional distress, humiliation and mental anguish.

In her complaint, Biddle seeks unmitigated front pay, plus punitive damages, attorney fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Fairmont Supply Company seeks to have the case removed because the dispute is between citizens of two different states. In addition, Biddle is seeking more than $75,000, according to the complaint.

Larry J. Rector of Steptoe and Johnson in Bridgeport, and Denielle M. Stritch in Denver, Colorado, are representing Fairmont Supply Company. Stephen P. New of Beckley is representing Biddle. The case has been assigned to U. S. District Judge Irene Keeley.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number 1:14-cv-122

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