WELCH – Three lawsuits have been filed against the McDowell County Emergency Ambulance Service Authority after the plaintiffs claim they were subjected to a hostile work environment.
Jimmy DeWayne Ellis was also named as a defendant in the suits.
Aubrey Kenneda was employed as a driver and Venessa Back and Earlene Neal were employed as EMT-B’s, according to three complaints filed Feb. 23 in McDowell Circuit Court.
The plaintiffs claim Ellis had supervisory authority over them and he would flirt and make inappropriate comments to them.
Ellis’ behavior persisted and worsened and he began to fondle the plaintiffs and propositioned them for sex, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim Ellis would expose himself, would attempt to kiss them and would attempt to pull down their shirts and ask them to “inspect his genital area.”
Ellis constantly warned the plaintiffs that if they were to report his behavior, their jobs would be in jeopardy, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim despite Ellis’ threats, they made complaints to the Ambulance Authority’s board about Ellis’ behavior, however, board did nothing.
After receiving no help from the board, the plaintiffs filed written complaints regarding his behavior in January, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim the Airport Authority did not take proper action to ensure the plaintiffs were not forced to work in a hostile work environment.
The defendants violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Nathan D. Brown and Joshua S. Ferrell of Ferrell & Brown.
McDowell Circuit Court case numbers: 18-C-16, 18-C-17, 18-C-18