BECKLEY - A former employee is suing Hospitality Lodging Investors LP for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family Medical Leave Act.
Hospitality Lodging Investors LP is doing business as Country Inn & Suites.
HLI Development Inc. and Roger D. Martin were also named as defendants in the suit.
Joseph K. Wolfe was employed by Hospitality from Aug. 1, 2003, until July 28, 2011, according to a complaint filed July 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Beckley.
On Nov. 1, 2005, Wolfe was promoted into the position of General Manager and on Oct. 24, 2008, he began evaluating requirements and proper classification of then current employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the suit.
Wolfe claims on Oct. 28, 2008, Wolfe presented his research and recommendations regarding the classification of certain County Inn employees to Martin and thereafter, he fielded complaints from employees regarding their compensation while continuing his efforts in evaluating the proper classification of employees under FLSA and continued reporting his analysis to Martin, who continued to ignore the recommendations.
On Jan. 11, 2011, Wolfe attended a trade show concerning the proper classification of employees under FLSA and the following week, again complained to Martin that certain Country Inn employees were not properly classified, according to the suit.
Wolfe claims in April 2011 he expressed concern to Martin and Martin "became quite agitated."
During the court of his employment, Wolfe became suspicious of Martin's use of company credit cards, company assets and time spent on personal endeavors, according to the suit, and on several occasions, Wolfe confronted Martin about suspected improprieties, to which Martin would abruptly deflect.
Wolfe claims his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2011, lived with him and on July 19, 2011, he advised Martin of his mother's condition and his need to take leave in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act to provide care and treatment.
On July 28, 2011, Wolfe met with Martin and, among other things, was reprimanded for employee overtime issues and his employment was wrongfully terminated, according to the suit.
Wolfe claims his employment was a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and a violation of the Family Medical Leave Act.
Wolfe is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by P. Rodney Jackson.
U.S. District for the Southern District of West Virginia at Beckley case number: 5:13-cv-20741