CHARLESTON -- A Clay County woman is suing her former employer for wrongful termination at China Max in the Charleston Town Center.

Liang Chong Zhe, Peter Hwang, Charlie Ling, Meihua Lo and Jin Li were also named as defendants in the suit.

On Nov. 12, 2008, Daoqun Luo began working as a server for China Max, according to a complaint filed June 24 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Luo claims she worked six days per week from 9:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day, and in addition to her regular work shift, she was required to purchase bottled water from Kroger for the restaurant to sell.

The defendants did not provide Luo with a break during her shift, only paid her once per month and only paid her in cash, according to the suit.

Luo claims the defendants did not pay her at a separate rate for regular and overtime pay, did not provide her with a W-2 for 2008 until April 10, 2009, and stated her income for 2008 as $6,000, even though her income for 2008 was only $2,120.

On April 15, 2009, Luo filed a request for investigation with the West Virginia Division of Labor and an investigator contacted the defendants on April 28, according to the suit.

Luo claims the defendants fired her the day after the investigator contacted them. She claims the defendants spread lies about her within the region's Chinese community, including statements that she should not be hired.

The defendants and their agents told members of the region's Chinese community that Luo stole money and was lazy and unreliable, according to the suit.

Luo claims she was unable to find work at another Chinese restaurant because of the defendants' conduct.

Luo is seeking compensatory, liquidated and punitive damages. She is being represented by Sarah K. Brown.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-1139

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