CHARLESTON – An African-American Kanawha County man is suing his former employer over allegations he was treated differently than his white counterparts.
Steven Thomas filed the lawsuit against SHARP No. 4502 Inc., doing business as IHOP, in Kanawha Circuit Court over allegations of racial discrimination.
The suit states Thomas worked for the defendant from January 2009 until Feb. 8 of this year. He alleges he was subjected to a racially hostile work environment where white employees received preferential treatment and black employees received harsher punishment for infractions. He also claims the restaurant repeatedly failed to promote him to a management position and instead only promoted white employees.
Thomas is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is represented by Stuart Calwell, L. Dante diTrapano and D. Christopher Hedges of Calwell Luce DiTrapano; and Lia DiTrapano Fairless of DiTrapano Law Firm, both in Charleston.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 19-C-630