Four women file sexual harassment lawsuits against Shorest

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 12, 2013

CHARLESTON - Four women have filed lawsuits against Shorest LLC after they claim they were sexually harassed by another employee.

Rory Smith, Shorest 1423 LLC, Shorest 1101 LLC, and R&D Foods Inc. were also named as defendants in the suit.

Kelli Ward, Kathleen Hancock, Erica Johnson and Mary Robinson were all employed by the defendants, according to four complaints filed April 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The women claim during their employments, Bobby Moss and Smith served as managers/supervisors and employees at Shorest and, at various times, supervised and managed them.

During the plaintiffs' employments, Moss repeatedly sexually harassed them by engaging in unwelcome sexual advances based on their gender; requesting them to perform sexual acts with and upon him; repeatedly talking about his sexual desires with them; and improperly touching their body parts in a sexual and unwelcome manner, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim Moss sexually assaulted them by repeatedly touching and grabbing them from behind and also grabbing the front of their bodies without their consent.

Moss engaged in hostile and physically aggressive behavior with the plaintiffs and created a hostile and offensive work environment that interfered with the plaintiffs' work performance, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants were aware of Moss' actions, but failed to take reasonable measures to remedy and/or prevent it.

The defendants also violated West Virginia code by retaliating against the plaintiffs for their complaints by terminating their employments and refusing to transfer them to other Shorest restaurants, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by David R. Barney Jr. of Thompson Barney and John W. Alderman III.

The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges James C. Stucky, Jennifer Bailey, Tod J. Kaufman and Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers: 13-C-610, 13-C-611, 13-C-612, 13-C-613

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