Former employee says DHHR discriminated against her

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 14, 2016

CHARLESTON – A woman is suing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources-Bureau for Public Health after she claims her employment was terminated and she was discriminated against.

Daphne D. Keesecker was employed by the defendant and alleged that the building was infected with visible mold, according to a complaint filed Sept. 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Keesecker claims she expressed concern in September 2015 to her supervisors over the condition of the building.

The plaintiff she was diagnosed with fungal pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, according to the suit. While on medical leave, a bronchoscopy revealed that Keesecker was infected with mold in her lungs.

Keesecker claims the defendants then terminated her employment while she was on medical leave on April 1, less than six months after her complaints regarding the mold were confirmed by EMSL and less than two weeks after she had informed the defendant she needed an accommodation because of her medical condition.

The plaintiff claims the defendant violated the West Virginia Whistleblower Act and the West Virginia Human Rights Act, according to the suit.

Keesecker claims the defendant failed to accommodate her disability and caused her indignity, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress.

Keesecker is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Todd S. Bailess and Rodney A. Smith of Bailess Smith PLLC.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 16-C-1476

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