Krispy Kreme employee harassed former co-worker, suit alleges

By Cara Bailey | Mar 12, 2008

CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County woman filed a suit against a popular doughnut store and two employees after a co-worker allegedly sexually harassed her.

Teresa George filed the suit Feb. 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, claiming a co-worker, James Richard, also a defendant, harassed her.

Nathan Tapley, George's supervisor, is also named as a defendant.

According to the suit, George started worked for Krispy Kreme as an assistant bookkeeper in February 2003. In November 2007, while George was attempting to clock out, she claims Richard grabbed and squeezed her breast.

George, "who was shocked and appalled," immediately told Richard to stop, the suit says. George claims she called Tapley to report the unwanted touching and was informed he would take care of the situation.

George claims nothing was done and she continued to work in close proximity with Richard.

According to the suit, in January, Richard approached George from behind and kissed her on the neck. George claims she immediately shrugged her shoulders and told him to stop. However, Richard allegedly persisted and continued to inappropriately touch her.

George claims she turned around and told Richard to quit and he finally stopped and walked away laughing.

According to the suit, George immediately called Tapley to report to conduct and inform him she was quitting. She then wrote her resignation letter, which contained a detailed description of the events that had transpired.

After the incident, George received a call from the Human Resources Department, inquiring about the incident. George relayed the incident to the person and informed him she intended to file criminal charges against Richard.

"The Human Resources representative informed the Plaintiff that it was a bad idea to filed criminal charges against Richard and that it would look bad on the Plaintiff if she did," the suit says.

However, George filed criminal charges against Richard.

According to the suit, George claims Krispy Kreme, Richard and Tapley created and allowed a hostile work environment to exist.

In the five-count suit, George seeks an on-going training program regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, back pay and benefits, front pay, compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney Matthew S. Criswell is representing George. The case has been assigned to Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-230

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