Three file sexual harassment suits against IHOP, manager

By Cara Bailey | Jun 3, 2008

CHARLESTON - Two women and one minor have filed sexual harassment suits against a local restaurant and the manager, claiming he sexually harassed them at work.

Michelle Wade, Jasmine Workman and Bridgette Lamb filed separate suits May 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court, against International House of Pancakes, Justin Broering and John Whittington.

Lamb's suit was filed by her father, Jeffrey Lamb because she is a minor.

Attorney Matthew S. Criswell is representing all the women, who worked at the South Charleston IHOP.

Wade claims Broering started sexually harassing her right after she began working as a server.

"Shortly after being hired, Broering informed the Plaintiff that she was the 'hottest server' he had ever hired," the suit says. He then began of course of conduct subjecting Wade to unwanted sexual innuendo and touching.

Wade claims Broering continually touched her and even followed her into a stock room, which caused Wade to believe she was going to be raped.

Workman claims she was also forced to endure Broering's innuendo and touching.

According to the suit, on more than one occasion Broering tried to get Workman to perform sexual favors, or have sex in the stockroom, even offering her money.

In April 2008, Workman took several days off and then returned to work. Upon her arrival, Broering said "If you want your job back you will need to have sex with me," the suit says.

Lamb, who was hired as a hostess, claims she was subjected to Broering's actions, which included requests for oral sex and other sexual innuendo, which Lamb rejected. However, she claims Broering continued his actions, which caused her to quit.

Wade and Workman also claim that Broering's unwanted and illegal sexual misconduct caused them to quit their jobs.

In the suits, Wade, Workman and Lamb seek a permanent injunction to establish an on-going training program for their employees regarding sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.

They also seek compensatory and punitive damages.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-900, 08-C-901, 08-C-908

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