Man says he was fired for reporting boss's sexual advances

By Justin Anderson | Jun 18, 2009

CHARLESTON -- A Kanawha man is suing a local health testing center, claiming he was fired for rebuffing sexual advances from his supervisor and then reporting the behavior to the center's president, an alleged friend of the supervisor.

Jared Hussell filed a lawsuit May 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Physical Exams Inc., Marshall Strawther and Greg Ramella.

Hussell says he applied for a job at Physical Exams on Dec. 27, 2008 and was interviewed by telephone by Ramella the same day.

During the conversation, Hussell claims Ramella told him: "If you want the job, you can suck my d---."

According to the complaint, Hussell objected to Ramella's comment and Ramella apologized.

With an understanding that Ramella would not again make such comments, Hussell says he took a job as an occupational health specialist with Physical Exams on Jan. 1.

However, Hussell claims that Ramella's sexual behavior did not subside, but actually became more agressive over time despite Hussell's repeated rejections.

"Defendant Ramella's pursuit of the plaintiff was relentless," the complaint says.

Hussell said he did not report Ramella because he feared reprisal.

On one occasion, Hussell claims, Ramella exposed his genitals to him and began masturbating. On another occasion, according to Hussell, Ramella grabbed Hussell's genitals.

Somewhere along the way, Hussell says he began taking medication for depression and anxiety related to Ramella's behavior.

Hussell claims he finally got fed up with it and reported Ramella to Strawther on Feb. 12.

Hussell says he was fired in retaliation five days later because Strawther and Ramella are friends.

He's seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Matthew S. Criswell is representing the plaintiff. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-1007

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