Man says because he was fired for sticking up for co-worker

By Justin Anderson | Mar 26, 2009

MARTINSBURG – A Berkeley County man is suing his former employer, claiming he was fired for sticking up for a female co-worker who accused his supervisor of sexual harassment.

MARTINSBURG – A Berkeley County man is suing his former employer, claiming he was fired for sticking up for a female co-worker who accused his supervisor of sexual harassment.

Troy Keller filed a lawsuit March 6 in Berkeley Circuit Court against Martin Distributing Company, which is based in Martinsburg.

Keller claims a co-worker, Sandra Lechliter, had accused his supervisor of sexual harassment and ultimately filed a complaint against his supervisor.

Keller's complaint says he made remarks "supporting" Lechliter's accusations, opposed the conduct of the company and encouraged Lechliter to take legal action.

Little did Keller know that his "remarks" were secretly recorded. The complaint does not say who did the recording, nor did it identify the supervisor.

Nevertheless, the recording eventually became known to officials with Martin Distributing, and Keller was placed on probation and ultimately fired on Jan. 16, 2009, the complaint says.

Keller alleges his termination was in violation of the state's human rights laws.

He's seeking lost wages and other compensatory and punitive damages plus legal interest and fees.

William B. Blake is representing Keller. The case has been assigned to Berkeley Circuit Judge Gina Groh.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number: 09-C-191

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