Man sues FirstEnergy, others for sexual harassment

By Kyla Asbury | May 19, 2016

CLARKSBURG – A Sandyville man is suing FirstEnergy Corporation after he claims he was sexually harassed.

CLARKSBURG – A Sandyville man is suing FirstEnergy Corporation after he claims he was sexually harassed.

Mon Power, Mobile Medical Corporation, Minnotte Contracting Corporation and 50 unknown, unnamed individuals were also named as defendants in the suit.

Between March 20, 2015, and May 8, 2015, Christopher Bragg was employed by Minnotte at the Harrison Plant in Haywood, according to a complaint filed in Harrison Circuit Court.

Minnotte was employed by FirstEnergy and Mon power at the plant and Bragg was supervised by Grady Shelton of Minnotte, John Peters of Minnotte and/or John/Jane Does 1-50.

Bragg claims MMC was employed by FirstEnergy and Mon Power to conduct specimen collection for urinalysis at the plant and Katie Short was an employee of MMC.

On May 8, 2015, employees forced Bragg to remove his pants and leave them at his ankles and pull his shirt up over his head with both hands for collection of his urine sample, according to the suit.

Bragg claims the unknown, unnamed individual pressed his body against Bragg’s and with his lips on Bragg’s neck, whispered, “this is as uncomfortable for you as it is for me.”

The unknown, unnamed individuals continued to make sexually explicit and lewd remarks toward Bragg while he was naked, according to the suit.

Bragg claims Shelton, Peters and Short observed and/or had actual knowledge of most, if not all, of the events that occurred and his request for a different MMC supervisor to observe collection of his urine sample.

Despite the plaintiff’s complaints and requests to change observers, the supervisors did nothing, according to the suit.

Bragg claims according to Minnotte and/or FirstEnergy and/or Mon Power policy, if after three hours, an employee cannot produce a urine specimen for drug screening, it is considered a refusal and that employee is then terminated.

The plaintiff was terminated from his employment after he could not produce a urine specimen for analysis after three hours, which resulted in a lifelong ban from FirstEnergy, according to the suit.

Bragg claims the defendants’ conduct constitutes harassment, a hostile work environment and sexual harassment.

The defendants’ actions violate the West Virginia Human Rights Act and are considered an intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to the suit.

Bragg’s attorney, Jennifer M. Wolfe of Story Law Office, said the most important thing to take away from the lawsuit is that there seems to be a stigma attached to same-sex sexual harassment.

“No matter the victim's gender, no one, even larger companies like FirstEnergy, have the right to expose its employees to this type of harassment,” she said.

Bragg is seeking compensatory damages, as well as $25,000 in punitive damages with pre-judgment interest. He is also being represented by Steven L. Story of Story Law Office.

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