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Campbell files civil suit against ERCC

CHARLESTON — Elkins Rehabilitation & Care Center is being sued for gender discrimination following allegations made by Delegate Denise Campbell.

According to a civil complaint filed Nov. 14 in Kanawha County Circuit Court, Campbell was subjected to gender discrimination that included but was not limited to the disparate treatment in comparison to former male administrators that were based in whole or in part by her gender.

John Einreinhofer of the Law Offices of John Einreinhofer said, “I am proud to represent Denise in this matter.”

Campbell served in her position as administrator of ERCC from October 2005 through June 2015. In this position, Campbell’s duties included but were not limited to care of patients and finances.

While serving in the position of administrator of ERCC, it is alleged that the defendant, ERCC, allowed females to be subjected to gender-based discrimination. This discrimination was said to have specifically effected Campbell’s work and her performance as she was subjected to an “intimidating, hostile and offensive working environment.”

In addition to being subjected to an “offensive” workplace environment at ERCC, claims were made that Campbell was also discriminated against due to her position as a state delegate.

The allegations made include: gender discrimination, discrimination and failure to provide the delegate with adequate leave to serve in her position in the West Virginia House of Delegates and discrimination against Campbell as a member of the West Virginia State Legislature in violation of West Virginia Public Policy and statutory law.

It is stated in the complaint that Campbell was penalized by ERCC for performing her duties with the Legislature. In addition, it is alleged that Campbell was not provided with an adequate leave of absence so she could complete the required duties of her part-time position as an elected official.

Campbell was successful in her unemployment insurance claim that was filed with WorkForce West Virginia. It was determined that Campbell was not guilty of any gross or simple misconduct or that she “voluntarily quit employment without fault on the part of her employer.”

As stated in the civil complaint, ERCC inaccurately reported to WorkForce West Virginia that Campbell had voluntarily left her position without fault of the employer.

“She can’t receive unemployment if she quit her job, she can’t receive unemployment if she left the job through some fault of hers. She could only get it if it was on the fault of the employer in that situation,” Einreinhofer said.

In Campbell’s claim to WorkForce West Virginia, it was not determined that she had voluntarily left her employment.

Had is been determined that Campbell had committed any misconduct that ultimately caused her termination or had she voluntarily quit, she would have been found ineligible to received benefits under state law, Einreinhofer said.

Campbell also claims she was discouraged from running for the West Virginia State Senate.

The complaint states Campbell’s position as delegate was actively discussed during ERCC board of directors meetings. In addition, it was stated that the defendant confronted Campbell with a written statement in April 2015 that was a “pre-text used as running for part-time elected office in the future.”

This written statement followed instructions from ERCC’s Board Chairman Mike Taylor for Campbell to “clear her schedule and make herself available” while she was serving in her part-time elected position. This was in violation of West Virginia Code Section 6-5-12, according to the complaint.

ERCC is facing three counts in the civil suit including the following: Gender discrimination, violation of West Virginia Code Section 6-5-12 and violation of West Virginia Public Policy, unlawful retaliation and gender discrimination, violation of West Virginia Code Section 6-5-12, violation of West Virginia Public Policy Unlawful Retaliation and Conduct Warranting Punitive Damages.