Sears hit with three wrongful firing suits

By Cara Bailey | Dec 12, 2008

CHARLESTON - Three separate suits have been filed against Sears on behalf of past employees who claim they were fired in violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

Attorney William M. Tiano filed suits Oct. 24 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Sears, Roebuck and Company. The suits were filed on behalf of Carol Wilson, David DeVore and James Ohse.

The suits also name Dan Daum, district manager, and Sharon VanMeter, a store loss prevention manager at the Barboursville store, as defendants.

Carol Wilson was employed by Sears as a general manager at the Barboursville location. At the time of her termination she was 61 and had undergone heart surgery.

Wilson claims she was fired because she allowed destroyed merchandise and zero value merchandise to be sold.

David DeVore of Minford, Ohio, claims he was fired for purchasing clearance merchandise, in violation of corporate policy. He claims he was at the Barboursville store to assist the company in reorganizing departments.

James Ohse was the store general manager of the Sears location in Parkersburg. He claims he was fired because he authorized a third-party charge at the Sears store in Barboursville.

A third-party charge occurs when a credit card order is taken over the phone. Ohse claims other employees have since authorized third-party charges without termination or reprimand of any sort.

The plaintiffs claim they are all qualified people who are protected by the WVHRA. They claim they have individually suffered loss of income and benefits, including health insurance, and will continue to suffer such losses, as well as annoyance, inconvenience and humiliation.

In the suits, Wilson, DeVore and Ohse seeks reinstatement to his or her prior position, front pay, back pay and the value of any benefits, including compensation for past and future mental and emotional pain, suffering stress caused by the defendants and attorney fees and costs.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers 08-C-2091, 08-C-2092 and 08-C-2093

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