Hotel worker claims sexual harassment

By John O'Brien | Jun 2, 2006

CHARLESTON - A former housekeeper and front desk clerk at a Motel 6 is suing over sexual harassment she says occurred there before she was wrongfully fired.

Rita Aliff of Clendenin filed the lawsuit May 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Greg Lavender and Accor North America, Inc.

She says Lavender, her boss, repeatedly asked her for sex during the 16 months she worked there, though she does admit the two had intercourse.

"Defendant Lavender had sexual intercourse with Plaintiff during her shift at the front desk," the complaint says. "Upon termination of the sexual intercourse, Defendant Lavender instigated an investigation in conjunction with Defendant Accor that would be used as a basis for the termination of Plaintiff's employment."

Aliff says she was fired after making a workers compensation claim and taking time off work.

She worked at Motel 6 from Aug. 14, 2004-Dec. 21, 2005 and says Lavender created a hostile work environment while she was there by: "Requiring that she have sex with him in the motel rooms and his office; following her throughout the motel while she was cleaning rooms and creating opportunities for unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors; asking her to dinner on a regular basis and telling her he needed sex because he was a man and had not had sex for some time; telling her how good she looked and participating in other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and requesting sex."

When she informed Lavender she no longer wanted to have sex with him because she was afraid she would lose her job, she says Lavender, the general manager, told her no one would find out.

Aliff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Tom Price of Charleston law firm Holroyd and Yost.

Judge Louis Bloom has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1009

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