BLUEFIELD - A Mercer County woman has filed a suit against a state college, claiming she was discriminated against and overlooked for several jobs because of her race.

Rebecca Martin filed a suit in July against Bluefield State College, seeking damages and relief for the violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

Martin was hired as a library clerk at the college in 1981. She stayed at the school and also worked as a secretary, administrative secretary/office manager and program assistant.

In 2004, while working as a program assistant for the Counseling and Advising Center, two job openings for full-time positions were posted. Martin applied for both, and claims she was qualified for both, but was not hired because she is black. Two white females were instead hired for the positions.

According to the suit, Martin believes the practices of the college clearly violate the West Virginia Human Rights Act. The suit also says the hiring and promotional practices at Bluefield State College have a discriminatory effect of African Americans.

Martin claims she has lost considerable pay and substantial benefits by reason of discrimination against her.

In the suit, filed by Huntington attorney Dwight J. Staples, Martin seeks back pay, front pay, including overtime compensation and benefits, and interest on all monetary amounts.

The suit also demands Bluefield State College to develop promotion procedures, which do not have an adverse impact on blacks and comply with the appropriate affirmative action plan.

McDowell Circuit Court case number 07-C-219

More News