CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing the United States Department of Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory after he claims he was discriminated against.

James Copley was employed by the defendants from 1985 until 1990. In June 1990, he officially resigned from his employment to finish his master's degree in Business Administration, according to a complaint filed April 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Copley claims in July 2009, he desired to return to work and applied for a position with the defendants that was identical to his previous position prior to his resignation 19 years earlier.

On Aug. 5, 2009, Copley received a job refusal letter from the defendants stating he was not qualified for the position, according to the suit.

Copley claims he responded to the letter, asking for the defendants to give him specific reasons for the job denial, but the letter was never answered.

The defendants discriminated against Copley, according to the suit.

Copley is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is representing himself.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-669

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