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Former water plant supervisor alleges wrongful termination

A plaintiff who was once the only woman at the St. Albans water treatment plant is suing the St. Albans Municipal Utility Commission for wrongful termination. The woman, who had been the chief operator at the plant, has named two individuals in her suit as well. She is asking for her job back as well as punitive and compensatory damages.

According to the suit, the trouble started in 2012 when a man interviewed for a job as an operator at the plant even though there were no open positions, and was hired despite the fact that the plaintiff told the person who hired the man that she had no need for another operator. Further, she did not believe that he was qualified for the job. Another issue noted in the suit is that according to regulations, multiple people should have been interviewed for the job rather than just one.

Before the year was over, according to the suit, the plaintiff conducted a counseling session with new employee because of his "refusal to comply with written instructions" regarding safety measures. The plaintiff says she also told her manager of the employee's poor performance. However, instead of action being taken against the new employee, the plaintiff was terminated despite what the suit says was a stellar employment record. The new employee had claimed that the plaintiff had threatened him physically - a charge she disputes.

It was not reported whether the plaintiff is alleging why she believes this particular employee was hired in the manner he was. However, the suit mentions that the new employee "conduct[ed] illegal oral surveillance" of his colleagues as well as the plaintiff.

People who believe that they were fired unjustly, whether due to discrimination or because they acted as a "whistleblower," pointing out problems or violations within the organization, have every right to seek reinstatement of their job as well as damages for lost wages and other harm. An employment attorney can advise a person on whether he or she has a viable case, and if so, work to see that justice is done.

Source:   West Virginia Record, " Woman sues St. Albans Municipal Utility Commission for wrongful termination " Kyla Asbury, Dec. 24, 2013

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