West Virginia Record

Monday, December 9, 2019

Woman accuses Huntington Mall of wrongful termination

By Kyla Asbury | May 1, 2015


HUNTINGTON – A Huntington woman is suing the Huntington Mall after she claims her employment was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for complaining about discrimination.

Cafaro Company is doing business as the Huntington Mall.

On June 28, 2013, Rhonda A. Jones began her employment at Huntington Mall as a housekeeper, according to a complaint filed April 3 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Jones claims she suffers from dyslexia and during the course of her employment, another employee, Ricky Harvey, began calling her retarded and engaging in inappropriate behavior toward her.

In accordance with the defendant's anti-discrimination policy, Jones promptly reported Harvey's conduct to her supervisor in February 2014 and the defendant failed to take any prompt, remedial action as the policy requires, according to the suit.

Jones claims Harvey continued to call her names and began playing tricks on her, including hiding her possessions and work things from her.

The plaintiff continued to make protected reports of Harvey's inappropriate behavior, as she considered it harassment, and the defendant failed to take action, according to the suit.

Jones claims on Nov. 2, she was having lunch with her co-workers when a co-worker suggested she marry her boyfriend and began stating rather graphic and inappropriate opinions about Jones' relationship and, having endured hearing the inappropriate comments about her relationship, Jones defended herself with responding, "Are you calling me a slut?"

Mall customers who had not heard the entire conversation and who were offended by the use of the word "slut" informed one of the mall employees that the word usage was uncalled for, which resulted in Jones being reported to management for "inappropriate language," according to the suit.

Jones claims she had never been in trouble for any use of alleged inappropriate language in the workplace before the incident and, rather than investigate the matter, the defendant terminated her employment.

Since her firing, Jones has been unable to find suitable, gainful employment and she has suffered damages.

Jones is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Hoyt Glazer, Ben Sheridan and Mitch Klein of Klein, Sheridan & Glazer LC.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 15-C-243

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