Secretary Complains of Outrageous Behavior

     (CN) – The vice president of operations at a West Virginia mining company chronically preyed on female employees, requiring them to watch him masturbate, a woman who worked for the firm claims.
     Pamela Myles sued the vice president, Jack Hagewood, her employer, Xinergy Corp, and a half dozen contractor companies, in the Kanawha County circuit court.
     In her complaint, Myles, a former secretary at the South Fork mine, says she and other female employees and contractors were threatened, intimidated or interfered with by Hagewood at mine sites in Boone, Kanawha and Greenbrier Counties.
     “Hagewood subjected Ms. Myles and other females to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which had the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with their work performance and which created an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment,” the complaint says.
     Myles then goes on to recount the alleged experiences of some of her co-workers. After one female security guard complained that Hagewood repeatedly masturbated in front of her, a personnel manager is alleged to have responded by stating, “I don’t understand why you don’t like that man …”
     She says in another incident, Hagewood asked a female secretary at the Raven Crest mine to show him “those big titties.”
     After the woman’s supervisors failed to take any corrective action, Hagewood allegedly masturbated in the presence of the secretary on several occasions.
     Myles says repeated complaints from the women subjected to alleged behavior, the mining company and its subcontractors “laughed off Hagewood’s conduct as ‘harmless.’
     This, Myles says, only allowed the situation to escalate.
     “Under the threat of losing their jobs, Hagewood started requiring females to perform sexual acts without their consent,” the complaint says.
     Finally, Myles says, the defendant companies could no longer overlook Hagewood’s conduct, but “[r]ather than acknowledge the seriousness of these offenses, even then, Defendants allowed Hagewood to resign and receive severance pay.”
     Myles seeks general and punitive damages on behalf of herself and other female employees on a claim of sexual harassment.
     She is represented by Maria Hughes and Mark Goldner of Highes & Goldner PLLC of Charleston, W. Va.
     Xinergy Corp did not respond to a request for comment from Courthouse News.