Two employees sue Little Caesar's Pizza for hostile work environment

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 3, 2015

CHARLESTON - Two women are suing Little Caesar's Pizza after they claim they were sexually harassed and their supervisor created a hostile work environment.

VDM Management Company LLC is doing business as Little Caesar's Pizza.

Little Caesar's Enterprises Inc.; D.L.C. Pizza Inc.; Genesis 4 LLC; Louie Lovejoy; and Mike Insco were also named as defendants in the suits.

During their employments, Emily Steffie and Denielle Thompson were subjected to sexually explicit and offensive requests and comments by Lovejoy, who was their supervisor, according to two complaints filed June 16 and 18 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim the requests and comments were made orally as well as by electronic measurements and the defendants were made aware of the sexually explicit and offensive comments made by Lovejoy toward her and other employees.

The defendants failed to take timely and appropriate corrective action, according to the suits.

Steffie and Thompson claim Lovejoy repeatedly pressured them and other female employees to "hang out" with him, which was in violation of the defendants' fraternization policy.

Lovejoy also repeatedly pressured Steffie and Thompson to lend him money, give him rides and come to their houses, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim Lovejoy pressured them into sexual relationships and would perform unrequested, work related "favors" for them and grant them work-related "privileges."

Lovejoy became increasingly hostile and abusive toward Steffie and Thompson at work, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

The defendants also created a hostile work environment and caused Steffie and Thompson damages, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Ben Salango of Preston & Salango PLLC; and Matthew Smith and Adam Campbell of Campbell & Smith PLLC.

The cases are assigned to Circuit Judges Jennifer Bailey and James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-1232, 15-C-1233

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