Woman sues McDonald's for sexual harassment, wrongful termination of employment

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 13, 2012

CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing McDonald's after she claims she was sexually harassed and her employment was wrongfully terminated.

McDonald's Restaurants of West Virginia, Michael Tatum and Alex Payne were also named as defendants in the suit.

On July 2, 2011, Jennifer K. Bass was hired by McDonald's and her first shift was on July 10, 2011, according to a complaint filed Jan. 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Bass claims on July 12, 2011, Tatum, who was her assistant manager, began a course of conduct to sexually harass her.

Tatum made several comments to Bass of a sexual nature, rubbed against her and touched her rear end, according to the suit.

Bass claims at one point in the day, Tatum wrapped his arms around her waist from behind and touched her breasts.

Tatum's sexual harassment continued, despite Bass reporting the issues to the Payne, who was the store manager, according to the suit.

Bass claims she was terminated from her employment on Dec. 28, 2011, in retaliation for reporting Tatum's illegal conduct.

The defendants caused a hostile work environment to be created and caused Bass medical issues, including a panic attack and a heart condition, according to the suit.

Bass is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Matthew S. Criswell and Mark L. French.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-163

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