Listen Now: Morning News

Lawsuit filed against DHHR, former supervisor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two women who worked for the state Department of Health and Human Resources are suing the agency and a former supervisor for alleged sexual harassment.

The women allege, in separate complaints filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court, that former state DHHR supervisor Brian Phillips regularly made “unwanted and unreciprocated sexual advances” toward them and retaliated against them after they complained about it.

The lawsuits say the DHHR should have never hired Phillips given his work history. He was fired as a teacher in Boone County in 2017 for engaging in inappropriate sexual-based conversations with students. The state Grievance Board upheld the firing saying Phillips’ behavior “directly and substantially affects the morals, safety, and health of the system in a permanent, non-correctable manner.”

The new complaints from the DHHR workers allege Phillips, among other things, would touch them inappropriately at the office and make sexual advances toward them in hotel rooms rented by the agency in its placement of children and adults.

Phillips lost his job after the complaints were investigated.

The women are seeking damages from the DHHR and Phillips. They are both represented by Charleston attorney Travis Griffith who said the DHHR’s decision to hire Phillips “shocks the conscious.”

“it is unconscionable that one State agency would make a Decision that Brian Phillip’s conduct was non-correctable and then the State Department of Heath and Human Services would hire him to care for displaced children and vulnerable adults,” Griffith said.

Complaint 1

Complaint 2


More News

MetroNews This Morning 8-8-23
Summary of West Virginia news/sports/weather for Tuesday, August 8, 2023
August 8, 2023 - 6:36 am
Charleston council rejects second investigation into incident involving Chief of Police
Charleston Chief of Police Tyke Hunt was suspended last year following an investigation involving a meeting with a woman after-hours.
August 8, 2023 - 2:00 am
Charleston City Council turns down needle exchange program proposal from Women's Health Center
The Women's Health Center had recently applied for a syringe service program license.
August 8, 2023 - 1:00 am
Gee tells Faculty Senate he'll leave presidency in June 2025
Longtime WVU president says his plans are to move to the College of Law after that.
August 7, 2023 - 7:03 pm