Man sues Kanawha school board for wrongful termination

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 3, 2012

CHARLESTON -- A former school bus driver is suing the Kanawha County Board of Education after he claims he was wrongfully terminated from his employment.

Roger Dale Lanham was employed by the defendant for approximately 11 years until his discharge on Dec. 6, 2011, according to a complaint filed Sept. 4 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Lanham claims on Aug. 29, 2011, he was diagnosed with a medical impairment and on Nov. 4, 2011, he informed his supervisors of his diagnosis after being harassed regarding his health conditions.

Shortly after informing his supervisors of his medical impairment, Lanham was asked to submit to a drug test, was placed on leave using his sick leave and was not permitted to return to work until he saw a psychologist and was examined by a nurse employed by the defendant, according to the suit.

Lanham claims on Nov. 14, 2011, he returned to work and was being closely monitored by Bev Christie, one of his supervisors, who would pull bus video surveillance of his route on a regular basis.

On Dec. 6, 2011, George Beckett, Lanham’s other supervisor, accused him of violating Kanawha County Board of Education policy and forced him to sign a letter of resignation effective Dec. 16, 2011, for personal reasons, according to the suit.

Lanham claims as a result of his constructive discharge, he sustained lost wages and benefits; embarrassment; humiliation; and severe emotional distress.

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, according to the suit.

Lanham 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-1787

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