CHARLESTON – A man is suing his employer after he alleges he was retaliated against and unfairly terminated because he sought workers' compensation.

Zechairah C. Lightner filed a complaint in Kanawha Circuit Court against WV Motor Sales Inc., doing business as JD Byrider Used Cars, and Rowland Motors Inc., doing business as JD Byrider Preowned Vehicles, alleging retaliation, unlawful termination and violation of the West Virginia Worker's Compensation Act.

According to the complaint, Lightner was an employee of the defendant and during his time of employment worked as a mechanic and service technician. In July 2014, the plaintiff was injured while he was completing a work-related job. He sought medical attention and afterward filed for workers' compensation. Following his request for compensation, the defendant tried to convince him to not pursue compensation. In addition to the defendant's treatment of his filing for compensation, they also told the plaintiff that he was being transferred to a new location or he would be terminated, a move which would have caused the plaintiff to have to commute several hours to the workplace. Following this, Lightner was terminated by the employer on Dec. 18, 2015.

Lightner is seeking compensation for the retaliation, lost wages and legal fees. He is represented by Todd S. Bailess and Rodney A. Smith of Bailess Smith PLLC in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie L. Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number 15-C-2262

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