Former Mildred-Mitchell Bateman CEO sues DHHR, others for gender discrimination

By Kyla Asbury | Dec 8, 2009


CHARLESTON -- The former CEO of Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital is suing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities and the former behavioral-health commissioner, claiming she was demoted after she complained of gender discrimination.

Mary Beth Carlisle was hired as the CEO of the hospital on April 12, 2004, according to a complaint filed Nov. 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

According to the suit, Carlisle filed a grievance with the West Virginia Public Employees' Grievance Board on March 25, after she discovered male CEOs were compensated at a pay grade of 97, while she was only compensated at a pay grade of 26.

Carlisle claims she had been classified as "Hospital Administrator II," while men were being classified as "Administrator, Acute Care Hospital," and that she was "falsely advised that she was classified differently because Mildred Mitchell-Bateman was not an acute care facility."

After the grievance procedure failed to provide her with an adequate remedy, she provided notice to the defendants on her intent to file a civil action for gender discrimination on Aug. 28.

Carlisle was informed Nov. 17 that she was being demoted to an unidentified position at the Bureau for Medical Services. She claims the demotion was retaliation for her telling authorities about problems at the hospital.

According to the suit, John E. Bianconi was the behavioral-health commissioner and an employee of the WVDHHR and BBHHF during Carlisle's employment.

Carlisle claims the pay difference violates the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

Carlisle is seeking back pay; that the court enter a permanent injunction against the defendants; that she be reinstated to her position as CEO and reclassified in a manner consistent with male counterparts; damages for all out of pocket losses; and punitive and compensatory damages. Rita Massie Biser and Tonya P. Mullins of Moore & Biser are representing her.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-2163

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