Marshall County woman says she was discriminated against

By Cara Bailey | Mar 29, 2007

WHEELING - A Marshall County woman has filed a suit against a local gaming center, claiming she was discriminated against and ultimately fired because she was considered disabled, which she is not.

Michele LeMasters filed a suit March 14 in Ohio Circuit Court against Wheeling Island Gaming Inc. The suit also names Carlene Nickerson as a defendant.

LeMasters was employed as a cage supervisor by Wheeling Island Gaming from June 17, 2003, to Nov. 1, 2006. In November 2003, she requested time off for a medical condition, as was fired by her manager who said LeMasters had not been working long enough to qualify for medical leave.

According the complaint, LeMasters contacted Delaware North Companies, the parent company of the gaming center, and her employment was reinstated.

In July 2004, Nickerson became the cage manager, and has direct supervision over LeMasters. LeMasters again requested medical leave for a medical condition.

"Her medical condition and request for medical leave was improperly published to personnel at Wheeling Island Gaming, Inc. who did not have a reason to know about her medical condition or her request for medical leave," the suit says.

On July 10, 2006, LeMasters received neck and back injuries as a result of her work, and filed a workers' compensation claim. She then took a month off of work to recuperate. On her second day back Nickerson created a "special" shift for LeMasters, which ran from 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. No other employees were scheduled to work this shift, the suit says.

In a letter dated Sept. 1, 2006, LeMasters complained about discrimination and a hostile work environment due to her perceived disability and her workers' compensation claim. On Nov. 1, LeMasters was fired.

The suit claims the termination was discriminatory and a retaliatory action against her by her employer, which is prohibited by West Virginia Code.

LeMasters claims she has suffered lost wages, lost employment benefits and several emotional stress and anguish.

She, through her counsel Ronald Kasserman, seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Ohio Circuit Court case number 07-C-89

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