Administrative Law Judge Finds in Favor of Employer in Complaint Filed by Discharged Employee with West Virginia Human Rights Commission
Bowles Rice defended a fueling company against charges brought by the first female fueler hired in West Virginia before the West Virginia Human Rights Commission. During her employment, Complainant was allegedly subjected to comments and ridicule by some of her male co-workers. After investigating her complaints, the Respondent addressed her concerns by transferring her co-workers to other shifts and locations. Throughout the remainder of her employment, the Complainant was disciplined for a variety of issues and developed unhealthy working relationships with other co-workers. Her employment was terminated after she disobeyed a directive from her supervisor.
After the Complainant was discharged, she filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission and asserted claims for (1) hostile work environment, (2) gender discrimination and (3) retaliation. The claims involved very graphic and vile allegations. This matter was scheduled for an administrative trial before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Prior to trial, there was a significant amount of litigation and discovery over a period of many months, all of which was very contentious.
When the parties were unable to settle the case at mediation, a two-day evidentiary administrative trial was conducted before an ALJ in November 2013. At the conclusion of the trial, the parties were ordered to file post-hearing briefs and proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. After considering the evidence and post-hearing filings, the ALJ entered a 46-page Final Decision on September 4, 2014, finding in favor of the employer on all claims and dismissing the case, with prejudice.