NEW CUMBERLAND -- The former public relations director of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort is suing after she claims she was fired from her 12-year job as the face of the casino because of her gender.

The general manager, Jack Sours, and the human resources director, Vincent J. Azzarello, were also named as defendants in the suit.

Tamara Pettit held the position from 1989 until Aug. 13, when she was called into a meeting and advised she was being discharged from her employment, according to a complaint filed Oct. 21 in Hancock Circuit Court.

On Aug. 9, Pettit claims she verbally notified Azzarello that it was inappropriate for Sours to "publicly berate and belittle her" at a company function two days prior. She claims she further advised Azzarello that Sours did not publicly berate male supervisors in such a manner and that she was seeking disciplinary action against Sours, as well as an investigation into discrimination by him.

After being presented with her final check and a proposed severance agreement, Azzarello asked Pettit if she had any questions, to which she asked if she was being fired because she filed a complaint against Sours, according to the suit.

Pettit claims Azzarello did not respond and that Sours informed her that her position was being eliminated.

Sours violated Pettit's state human rights laws by discriminating against her because of her gender and then firing her in retaliation for her complaint, according to the suit.

Pettit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Daniel J. Guida and Doug Pettit.

Hancock Circuit Court case number: 10-C-185R

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