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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Woman sues former employer, saying sexual harassment led to lengthy medical leave, dismissal

Lawsuits

By Carrie Bradon | Sep 19, 2019


CHARLESTON – A woman who was fired after a lengthy medical leave filed suit against her former employer and a man whose actions she said led to the absence.

Tiffany F. Peyton filed her complaint in Kanawha Circuit Court against Capital Area Services Company LLC dba CASCI; Keith Day, a quality assurance supervisor and trainer for CASCI; and Raymond D. Blust, a human resources client consultant for CASCI.

Peyton began to work for CASKI on July 10, 2017, and Day was her trainer. From the beginning, Peyton was uncomfortable with things Day said and did, the lawsuit said. He made inappropriate comments about her and other female employees, the lawsuit said, and would come up behind her while she was seated and lean over close enough to touch her. At one point, he referred to her as "Tiffany Luscious Peyton," the lawsuit said.

Peyton complained about Day to Blust and his supervisor on Aug. 14, the lawsuit said. The company's human resources department put her on paid administrative leave until the conclusion of its investigation.

On Aug. 18, the lawsuit said, the company told her it had corroborated her complaints, the lawsuit said. The company told her the issue had been addressed and that there would be no more harassment, the lawsuit said. The company instructed her not to speak of the matter, the lawsuit said. Peyton asked Blust not to assign her to work on Day's offce's floor, the third, and the company complied, assigning her to work in the basement instead when she returned to her job on Aug. 26, the lawsuit said.

However, when her training was completed in November, the company moved her to the third floor, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said Dy created an intimidating and hostile work environment for Peyton on the third floor, the lawsuit said, to the extent that she began to experience medical conditions connected to her underlying condition of lupus, with which she had been diagnosed in 2013.

She applied for short-term disability in January 2018 and was granted eight weeks' leave, the lawsuit said. She kept CASCI apprised of her medical condition, and the company never asked for further documentation or details, the lawsuit said.

She was not able to return to work at the end of the eight weeks in March. The company extended her leave through April 15, the lawsuit said, but she was told that if she did not return the next day she would be terminated.

On April 16, Peyton's doctor told CASCI that she was not yet able to return to work. The company agreed to extend her leave through May 25. That was still not enough time, the lawsuit said, and the new date to return to work was June 25. But on June 1, Blust told Peyton she would be released, the lawsuit said. She was officially terminated June 4.

Peyton accused CASCI and Day of sexual harassment, creating a hostile workplace, disability discrimination and failure to accommodate; she added an accusation of collusion against Blust.

The plaintiff is seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. The plaintiff is represented by Rodney A Smith of Bailess Smith PLLC in Charleston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Tod Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case No. 19-C-762

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Kanawha Circuit Court

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