Former salesman sues Thornhill Group for discrimination

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 28, 2016

LOGAN – A man filed a class action lawsuit against Thornhill Group Inc. after he claims he was discriminated against based on his race.

Kerry Walker was employed as a salesman on Nov. 4, 2015, and, within two weeks of beginning work, he began to experience ongoing racial slurs and racial stereotypes from his supervisors, Tony Bsharah and Brian Cavendish, according to a complaint filed in Logan Circuit Court.

Walker claims on at least one occasion, he was subjected to racially derogatory comments from a co-worker in the presence of several other co-workers, as well as Cavendish and not only did Cavendish fail to take any action to stop such harassment, he actually joined in on it.

The plaintiff was also subjected to unfavorable disparate treatment by Bsharah, which favored two Caucasian salespersons, according to the suit.

Walker claims Bsharah gave two other Caucasian salesmen certain privileges relating to the defendant’s lockboxes and dealer plates, despite the fact that Walker had been employed longer and had sold more vehicles than the Caucasian salesmen.

This harassment, disparate treatment and discrimination continued until Walker’s employment was terminated on Dec. 12, according to the suit.

Walker claims the defendant violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act for wrongfully discharging him, creating a hostile work environment and discriminating against him.

The defendant also failed to pay its former employees who were involuntarily discharged all wages due on or before the next regular payday, which violated the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act, according to the suit.

Walker is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Phillip Estep, Todd S. Bailess and Rodney A. Smith of Bailess Smith PLLC.

Logan Circuit Court case number: 16-C-242

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