CHARLESTON – A woman is suing Foot Locker Retail Inc. after she claims it violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

Foot Locker Stores Inc. and Mark Caple were also named as defendants in the suit.

In July 2016, Tesa Higginbotham was hired by Foot Locker as a sales associate, where she was the only female employee at the store, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Higginbotham claims she was subjected to pervasive, offensive and abusive behavior at the hands of Caple and several other Foot Locker employees, including co-workers and the store manager.

The plaintiff’s managers and co-workers called her profane names and talked about her in a sexual manner in front of her during work and she attempted to complain about the hostile work environment, but the complaints were not taken seriously, according to the suit.

Higginbotham claims she told Caple she wanted to write a statement about sexual comments a co-worker had made to her and he laughed at her.

Caple also made and subjected Higginbotham to inappropriate verbal comments about sex, unwelcome sexual advances and inappropriate touching, according to the suit.

Higginbotham claims she was treated differently than her male co-workers and that she was held to different standards than her male co-workers.

When Higginbotham complained about being treated unfairly, her hours were cut, according to the suit.

Higginbotham claims on Dec. 30, she felt she had no other choice than to leave her employment because of the defendants’ actions.

The defendants actions caused Higginbotham to suffer economic loss; emotional and mental distress; humiliation; anxiety; fear; apprehension; embarrassment; depression; aggravation; annoyance; inconvenience; and loss of capacity to enjoy life, according to the suit.

Higginbotham is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Kristina Thomas Whiteaker and David L. Grubb of The Grubb Law Group.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 17-C-506

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