CHARLESTON - A woman is suing the West Virginia Department of Transportation after she claims she was sexually harassed by a supervisor.

Sharon Gaten was employed by the WVDOT and during her employment, she consistently performed her duties in a satisfactory manner and met the reasonable expectations of the defendant, according to a complaint filed Oct. 24 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Gaten claims on numerous occasions, Howard Mullens, a supervisor with WVDOT, sexually harassed her in a physical and verbal manner.

Despite the harassment and numerous other sexually offensive assaults on other female employees, Mullens continues to be employed by West Virginia, according to the suit.

Gaten claims she was constructively discharged from her employment in May.

As a direct and proximate result of the defendant's actions, Gaten is entitled to damages for emotional distress, indignity, embarrassment, humiliation, annoyance and inconvenience, according to the suit.

Gaten claims the defendant's actions were willful and malicious and violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

Gaten is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre-judgment interest. She is being represented by Mark A. Atkinson of Atkinson & Polak PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-2009

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