Former cafeteria worker wins discrimination suit

Many West Virginia employees avoid filing work-related complaints with their employers out of fear of retaliation. Although illegal, workplace discrimination is still an ongoing issue. Unfortunately, those who make valid complaints are often hit the hardest, facing incidents of harassment, discrimination and even wrongful termination.

An out-of-state woman recently won a discrimination case against her former employer. The former cafeteria worker was employed by the same high school that her daughter attended. In her suit, she claimed that her daughter suffered repeated and ongoing instances of sexual harassment from fellow students. Not only were her complaints dismissed, but she was also disciplined. Later, her supervisor gave permission to use her phone at work to check on her daughter, for which she was also disciplined.

When her complaints regarding her daughter's safety were not taken seriously, the cafeteria worker took her complaints to the assistant superintendent. A week after she went above administrators' heads, her supervisor gave her another disciplinary action for using her phone at work. After the harassment against her daughter did not stop, she pulled her out of school. She was fired later that month.

The ex-cafeteria worker filed a lawsuit against the school district approximately one year after she was fired. It eventually went to trial in Nov. 2017, and the jury reached a verdict only four days later. She was awarded $340,000. These types of lawsuits can be exceptionally effective for handling workplace discrimination from West Virginia employers. Although it can be understandably devastating to lose a job, seeking just compensation through a workplace discrimination claim can help victims move forward with a sense of peace.

Source: kansascity.com, "Fired cafeteria cook wins suit against Independence schools", Ian Cummings, Dec. 3, 2017

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