MORGANTOWN – A Monongalia County neurosurgeon is suing over claims he was fired for opposing the promotion of a coworker who allegedly made repeated racially insensitive comments and jokes.
Dr. Terrence Julien filed a lawsuit Nov. 24 in Monongalia Circuit Court against the West Virginia University Board of Governors, West Virginia University Hospitals Inc., and Dr. Charles Rosen, citing racial discrimination.
According to the complaint, in 2007, Julien, an African-American, was hired as a neurosurgeon in the West Virginia University Department of Neurosurgery on the campus of West Virginia University Hospitals Inc., which is governed by the West Virginia University Board of Governors, where he had a coworker, defendant Rosen, who repeatedly made racially insensitive and discriminatory comments and jokes.
The complaint states Rosen was appointed to interim chair of the neurosurgery department, during which time he continued to use racially insensitive language, such as, "all you black guys look alike."
Julien says that while Rosen was being considered for the position of permanent chair, Julien was outspoken about his opposition to the move and soon experienced adverse employment actions by Rosen, such as being excluded from employment activities and the reassignment of duties.
The lawsuit states Rosen was made permanent chair Sept. 18, 2012, and he continued the discriminatory treatment, finally forcing Julien to submit his three-month notice of resignation in November 2012. The defendants are accused of hostile work environment based on race and unlawful retaliation.
Julien seeks compensatory and punitive damages, including back pay and front pay, interest and costs of litigation.
He is represented by attorney Sean W. Cook of Meyer Ford & Glasser in Charleston.
Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 14-C-860