Man fired over zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy loses appeal

By John O'Brien | Mar 17, 2013

CHARLESTON – A man who was fired as a result of the Greenbrier Hotel’s zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy has lost his appeal to the state Supreme Court.

CHARLESTON – A man who was fired as a result of the Greenbrier Hotel’s zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy has lost his appeal to the state Supreme Court.

The court ruled unanimously on March 12 to affirm a Greenbrier County Circuit Court decision against Quentin T. Goddard, who alleged he was fired because of either sexual discrimination or his disability.

In a two-page memorandum decision, the court did not go into detail regarding its decision, only noting that the circuit court order that granted Greenbrier Hotel summary judgment was “detailed and well-reasoned.”

Goddard was fired in 2007 after swatting a female co-worker on the posterior with a shoehorn. The hotel has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and conducted an investigation before terminating Goddard’s employment.

“Petitioner does not deny that he inappropriately touched his co-worker on July 10, 2007, but argues that his termination was discriminatory, either based on sexual discrimination or discrimination based on an alleged disability, and not the unwanted touching,” the decision says.

“Specifically, for the sex discrimination charge, Petitioner argues that he was treated differently from a similarly situated female employee – the employee he inappropriately touched.”

Goddard alleged that the woman sat on the lap of another male co-worker and made him uncomfortable, but she faced no complaint and was not fired.

His other claim alleged he was fired because of a back injury he sustained while at work in 2003. He received an eight percent permanent partial disability impairment award for the injury.

In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled against Goddard on his claim that he should receive epidural facet injections to treat his injury.

He was fired a few weeks after returning to work after taking some time off for his injury.

From the West Virginia Record: Reach John O’Brien at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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