Woman says firing was retaliatory

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 22, 2012

CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing Saddle Shop Road Operations, LLC after she claims her employment was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for filing a complaint.

Saddle Shop Road Operations is doing business as Hilltop Center.

Hilltop Health Care, Inc.; Genesis Healthcare Corporation; and Genesis Healthcare, LLC

Brenda Dow was employed as an office manager with the defendants from August 1997 until she was discharged on Aug. 9, 2011, according to a complaint filed Sept. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Dow claims during the course of her employment, she consistently performed her duties in a satisfactory manner and met the reasonable expectations of the defendants.

In July 2010, Dow took medical leave and was off work for approximately one month and in August 2010, she returned to work with restrictions of no lifting more than 20 pounds, limited pushing/pulling and work hours no more than eight hours per day, five days per week, according to the suit.

Dow claims in September 2010 the defendants conducted a meeting with her and during the meeting, employees and/or agents of the defendants inquired if she was capable of doing her job and told her she needed to assess herself to see if she could still perform her job duties.

In September or October 2010, Dow filed a complaint against the defendants with the U.S. Department of Labor and in October 2010, she filed a Charge of Discrimination against them with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to the suit.

Dow claims in December 2010, the defendants placed her on a performance improvement plan, and on Aug. 9, 2011, the defendants willfully, maliciously and unlawfully terminated her employment.

When the defendants terminated Dow’s employment, they were aware she had filed a complaint with the Department of Labor and a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to the suit.

Dow claims the defendants unlawfully terminated her employment in retaliation for her filing the complaint and the charge of discrimination.

The defendants’ actions violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act and were willful, wanton and/or undertaken with reckless disregard and/or reckless indifference to Dow’s rights, according to the suit.

Dow is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Todd S. Bailess and Joy B. Mega.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1920

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