CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing Arc of the Three Rivers, Inc. after he claims he was discriminated against because of his race.

Vashawn Lewis was employed by the defendant from March 2011 until Sept. 2, 2011, according to a complaint filed Aug. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Lewis claims his employment was terminated on Sept. 2, 2011, because of his race and false information concerning alleged criminal conduct.

As a result of his illegal termination, Lewis sustained lost wages, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress, according to the suit.

Lewis claims prior to his employment was Arc, a criminal complaint had been made against him for allegedly misappropriating funds of an incapacitated adult, and Arc knew or should have known of the allegations against him at the time of hire, as the criminal complaint was a matter of public record.

Arc subsequently failed to provide Lewis any opportunity to provide an explanation and he was subsequently terminated illegally five days before the charges in the criminal complaint against him were dismissed, according to the suit.

Lewis claims the defendant's actions were so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society.

By acting in such an extreme, atrocious and inexcusable manner, Arc intended to cause Lewis severe emotional distress, according to the suit.

Lewis is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Scott H. Kaminski.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1736

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