Woman sues WVU for wrongful termination of employment

By Kyla Asbury | May 17, 2012

MORGANTOWN – A former employee is suing West Virginia University after she claims her employment was wrongfully terminated when the defendant refused to let her return to work with accommodations after a medical injury.

Jeanette Motsch and Mary Roberta "Bobbie" Brandt were also named as defendants in the suit.

Vicky Lou Hughes was employed by West Virginia University as a TBI Resource Coordinator/Clinical Associate assigned to the Big Chimney office of the Center for Excellence in Disabilities since December 2007, according to a complaint filed May 2 in Monongalia Circuit Court.

On April 6, 2010, Hughes met with the defendants to discuss alleged consumer complaints which had been filed regarding her performance and an investigation ensued, resulting in the issuance of a letter of warning on June 11, 2010.

Hughes claims on also April 6, 2010, the defendants alleged that she had engaged in additional interactions, all of which were false and known by the defendants to be false at the time they were made.

In June 2010, Hughes suffered an injury which resulted in a medical leave of absence for approximately one year and she was referred to medical management at the ADA coordinator upon her attempt to return to work, according to the suit.

Hughes claims on June 30, 2011, Brandt advised her that the defendants had considered and rejected several accommodations which she had requested in order to be able to return to work.

The determination was in violation of the defendants' obligation of reasonable accommodation pursuant to the West Virginia Human Rights Act, according to the suit.

Hughes claims her position could have been modified by the defendants to the extend required to accommodate her return to work and the defendants' decision to place her into the second phase of ADA monitoring and refuse to allow her to return to work also violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

After Hughes participated in the ADA monitoring proves run by the defendant for four months, during which time the defendants failed and refused to accommodate her by returning her to work, the process ended on Oct. 31, 2011 with the defendants' termination of Hughes' employment, according to the suit.

Hughes claims the defendants wrongfully terminated her employment.

The defendants' failure and refusal to provide Hughes with reasonable accommodations and the defendants' active harassment resulted in Hughes' loss of employment, loss of income and loss of value of future benefits and emotional distress, according to the suit.

Hughes is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Walt Auvil.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 12-C-521

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