HUNTINGTON – A former employee is suing Huntington Internal Medicine Group for allegedly failing to intervene when she was harassed by other employees.
Ultimate Health Services, Inc. is doing business as Huntington Internal Medicine Group.
Amanda Smith, Brandon Smith, Jeri Webb, April Stanley and Jonna Hughes were also named as defendants in the suit.
Carol Kitts was employed by HIMG as a part-time medical assistant beginning Aug. 5, 2009, according to a complaint filed Feb. 11 in Cabell Circuit Court.
Kitts claims she usually worked Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and would average between 24 and 28 hours each week.
Employees were expected to clock in at HIMG when they arrived to work, to clock out for an hour lunch, to clock back in after lunch and then clock out against at the end of the day, according to the suit.
Kitts claims she and other employees were also entitled to two paid 15-minute breaks, but due to the busy nature of the podiatry practice at HIMG, she and her co-workers rarely were allowed the opportunity to take the 15-minute breaks.
In the fall of 2009, Kitts began to notice irregularities in the information stored on her computer and did not know what was causing it, so she met with Brandon Smith to discuss the situation, according to the suit.
Kitts claims Brandon Smith told her that he would change her password and would inform her when he did, but, he never changed her password and never discussed the matter with her again.
Shortly after the meeting with Brandon Smith, Suzanne Chapman confronted Kitts at work and “angrily asked her about the new password situation involving her HIMG computer,” according to the suit.
Kitts claims she had not previously discussed the matter with Chapman and deduced that Brandon Smith had discussed it with her.
The angry manner in which Chapman addressed Kitts got her thinking that Chapman was responsible for the irregularities of which she had complained to Brandon Smith, according to the suit.
Kitts claims after the confrontation, Chapman and Roberta Cook began to harass her at work and began making harassing phone calls to her home.
When Kitts voiced her concerns over the harassment, Brandon Smith failed to do anything about the harassment, according to the suit, and when Amanda Smith took over as his successor, she also failed to do anything about the harassment.
Kitts claims in 2011, Chapman made a death threat, but the defendants still failed to do anything about it.
On Feb. 16, 2012, Kitts decided to quit her job due to the harassment, but on Feb. 18, 2012, Dr. Kirt Miller asked her to stay and told her he “intended to get something done to rectify the situation,” so she decided she would, according to the suit.
Kitts claims on Feb. 20, 2012, she called Amanda Smith, hopeful that something would be done about the situation and Amanda Smith informed her that there was nothing to be done because she had quit and “put a sticky note” on Smith’s door informing her that she had quit.
Kitts denied placing any sticky notes on anyone’s door and asked if Amanda Smith had spoken with Miller, according to the suit.
Kitts claims Amanda Smith acknowledged she had spoken with Miller but still informed her that there was nothing to be done because she had already quit.
The defendants failed to do anything about the harassment Kitts suffered while she was employed at HIMG and caused her to suffer damages, according to the suit.
Kitts claims the defendants also violated the West Virginia Fair Labor and Standards Act by depriving her of mandatory paid 15-minute breaks for at least 85 percent of the time throughout her employment at HIMG.
As a result of the defendants’ actions, Kitts suffered damages for pain and suffering; emotional torment; embarrassment; and annoyance and inconvenience, according to the suit.
Kitts is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Timothy P. Rosinsky of Rosinsky Law Office.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.
Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-93