American Water field supervisor alleges he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation

By Lhalie Castillo | Dec 12, 2017

CHARLESTON – A Putnam County man alleges that he was terminated in retaliation by his Kanawha County employers.

CHARLESTON – A Putnam County man alleges that he was terminated in retaliation by his Kanawha County employers.

John D. Daniels filed a complaint Nov. 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the American Water Works Service Co. Inc., American Water Works Co. Inc., West Virginia-American Water Co. Inc. and Jason Kessler alleging that they violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff began his employment with the defendants in November 2007 as a field supervisor. The suit states in January 2016, the plaintiff ordered his employees to remain in the office until roadways were safe because of Winter Storm Jonas, a decision that Kessler reversed. The suit states that union employees later filed a safety grievance against Kessler.

The plaintiff alleges after this incident, he was passed over for a promotion and was terminated in March 2016 after requesting a medical leave.

The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible because the defendants allegedly failed to accommodate his need for temporary medical leave of absence and terminated his employment in retaliation for his request for reasonable accommodation.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys' fees, litigation costs and pre- and post-judgment interest. He is represented by Michael P. Addair, Todd S. Bailess and Rodney A. Smith of Bailess Smith PLLC in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Tod Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number 17-C-1503

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