3/13/2012 8:37 AM By Kyla Asbury -Kanawha Bureau
CHARLESTON — A former employee is suing John Q. Hammons Hotels after she claims her employment was wrongfully terminated after she filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Chris Torsleff, Ashley Smoak and Melanie Linger were also named as defendants in the suit.
Leonila K. Hamrick began her employment with John Q. Hammons Hotels on Sept. 10, 2008, according to a complaint filed Feb. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
Hamrick claims on July 20, 2009, she was injured during the course of her employment, but when she approached Torsleff and inquired about workers’ compensation benefits, Torsleff advised her she was not going to receive workers’ compensation.
Despite this representation, Hamrick filed a workers’ compensation claim, according to the suit.
Hamrick claims subsequent to the injury, she began being treated despairingly by the defendants.
In the months following her filing the workers’ compensation claim, Hamrick received multiple disciplinary write-ups that were either part of a systematic design to retaliate against her or because of her ethnicity, according to the suit.
Hamrick claims her employment was then terminated on June 18, 2010.
The defendants’ actions violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act, according to the suit.
Hamrick is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by J. Philip Fraley.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-333