Man accuses Frontier of discrimination

By Annie Cosby | Dec 16, 2014

CHARLESTON – A Lincoln County man is suing over claims he was unlawfully fired.

Michael Mosteller II filed a lawsuit Oct. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Frontier Communications of West Virginia, doing business as Frontier, citing disability discrimination.

According to the complaint, Mosteller was working as a customer service representative for the defendant, assisting customers with solving issues related to the defendants' telecommunications services, including customers complaining that Frontier failed to deliver high-speed Internet as contracted, when he was changed to report to a different supervisor.

Mosteller says the new supervisor, Alisha Saunders, subjected him to high levels of stress requiring him to seek counseling through the company's employee assistance program, and he requested on numerous occasions to be transferred to another supervisor, but the director, Michael Hathaway, refused.

The lawsuit states that Saunders admitted to Mosteller that she had been "reactive" toward him and "knew she shouldn't have been," but continued threats to fire Mosteller if his sales numbers did not improve and setting up competitions in the office between male and female callers.

The lawsuit states Mosteller was hospitalized from March 11-13 for heart rhythm issues but despite treatment including being taken off caffeine, he continued to experience heart palpitations and extreme drowsiness. According to the lawsuit, the defendant accused him of sleeping during work hours March 20, but when Mosteller assured the company he had assisted all customers' calls, the company alleged the systems were "down" during this time period so there was no record to prove he'd done his job.

According to the lawsuit, they suspended him for one week and ordered a drug test, which Mosteller passed but he was fired one day after returning to work. Mosteller says his physician wrote a letter to the company explaining his medical condition but he was not rehired.

The defendant is accused of disability and gender discrimination, retaliatory discharge, 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, negligent infliction of emotional distress, outrage and invasion of privacy.

Mosteller seeks liquidated, actual, punitive and compensatory damages, including back wages and lost benefits, front pay or reinstatement, attorney fees, interest and court costs.

He is represented by attorneys Hoyt Eric Glazer, Ben Sheridan and Mitchell L. Klein of Klein, Sheridan and Glazer in Huntington. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1939

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