CHARLESTON -- A Fayette County woman claims she was wrongfully barred from a promotion because of her sex and race.
Sometime between July 24 and Aug. 17, 2005, Teri Moten of Fayette County applied for and was denied a position of financial advisor within JPMorgan Chase & Co. Moten, who is female and African-American, believes this denial was based on her race and gender.
In the complaint, originally filed on July 23, 2007, Moten claims the defendants, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and her supervisors, Anthony Gentry of Kanawha County and Dolan Wallace of Lawrence County, Ohio, willfully and maliciously violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act when they discriminated against her. Instead of hiring Moten, who had more experience in the financial field and higher academic credentials, they hired Rick Tobey, a white male.
In the suit filed by Mark Atkinson and Paul Frampton of the Charleston firm Atkinson & Polak, Moten is seeking a trial by jury to award punitive damages for indignity, embarrassment, humiliation, and emotional distress, as well as attorneys' fees, present and future lost wages, and prejudgment interest.
Moten, Atkinson, and Frampton filed the complaint in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, and now, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wallace, and Gentry are seeking a removal from the Circuit Court of Kanawha County to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Filed by Constance Weber of the Charleston firm of Kay Casto & Chaney, the removal is being sought by the defendants because the amount Moten is seeking would amount to more than $75,000. Also, the notice of removal, filed on March 18, 2008, states that Moten is actually a resident of Texas. Because of these reasons, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Gentry, and Wallace believe the United States District Court has jurisdiction.