CHARLESTON -- A Kanawha County woman is suing Wallpapers In Stock Inc. and its owner for sexual harassment.

Bethany Richey began working at Wallpapers In Stock in January 2009 as a sales associate and continued her employment until Nov. 6, according to a complaint filed Jan. 12 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Richey claims the company's owner, Clark A. Diehl, subjected her to pervasive, offensive and abusive behavior by making inappropriate comments about sex and unwelcome sexual advances.

On many occasions Diehl touched Richey in an offensive manner by putting his hand inside her shirt, grabbing her and touching her, according to the suit.

Richey claims Diehl also gave her a company phone and told her all employees had one, which she later found out was not true. She claims he sent her many offensive text messages, told her repeatedly that she was "sexy" and "hot," and gave her and another female employee books about sex.

Richey claims after she refused Diehl's advances he became increasingly hostile and verbally abusive, which caused her to finally resign on Nov. 6.

Richey suffered economic loss, emotional and mental distress, humiliation, anxiety, fear, apprehension, embarrassment, depression, aggravation, annoyance, inconvenience and loss of capacity to enjoy life, according to the suit.

Richey is seeking lost wages, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and all additional economic losses. She is being represented by David Grubb and Kristina Thomas Whiteaker of the Grubb Law Group.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-0057

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