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  • Writer's pictureKirstin Kennedy

Woman sues W.Va. company alleging discrimination

For immediate release

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania woman has alleged that a West Virginia-based company wrongfully terminated her position after she was subjected to gender and disability-based discrimination.

According to a complaint filed in the Western District Court of Pennsylvania, Plaintiff Pamela Kiger began working for Water Transfer Solutions, LLC in 2017 as a Crew Lead. Several years prior to being hired by the company, Ms. Kiger was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which caused her inflammation in the digestive tract, according to the report. Ms. Kiger alleged that she informed management and was provided with an employment accommodation. Specifically, according to the filing, she was only required to work between three and four days per week, and her posted positions were always near a restroom.

Although she was successful in performing all of the essential functions of her job, Ms. Kiger’s supervisor, Mark Hagar, complained that she did not deserve the role of Crew Lead, according to the complaint. She alleged that Mr. Hagar told her that she should be available “round the clock.”

According to the complaint, Mr. Hagar sent Ms. Kiger a text message on August 22, 2018 informing her that she was terminated due to a missed shift. However, according to the filing, she had received approval to take the day off. Ms. Kiger alleged that she was reinstated to her position by her other superiors following the erroneous termination.

Throughout her employment, in her personal life, Ms. Kiger was in a romantic relationship with a transgender individual, according to the complaint. She alleged that everyone that she worked with was aware of her relationship status. According to the filing, after she was re-hired, Mr. Hagar told Ms. Kiger “to get rid of the tranny lover.”

On a subsequent work day, Ms. Kiger alleged that she requested permission from Mr. Hager to leave her post to check on an issue at another station. According to the complaint, Mr. Hager approved her request. However, Mr. Hagar than retroactively denied haven given such permission, and, as a result, he terminated Ms. Kiger’s employment for “abandoning her post,” according to the complaint.

Lead Attorney Sean Ruppert alleged in the filing that Ms. Kiger was terminated as a result of Mr. Hagar’s “bigoted will.” The two-count complaint charges Water Transfer Solutions with gender and disability-based discrimination in violation of both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Ms. Kiger filed a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was provided a right to sue. The lawsuit was filed by Attorney Ruppert on December 12, 2019.

Ruppert Manes Narahari is a Pittsburgh-based employment law firm representing workers who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, or cheated by their employers. The firm also provides business law-related services and represents small businesses and entrepreneurs in startup, transactional, and litigation matters.

For more information on the claims made by Ms. Kiger against Water Transfer Solutions, contact the law office of Ruppert Manes Narahari at 412-626-5626.

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