Kelly Holleran Dec. 3, 2013, 8:29am

A woman has filed suit against her former employer, alleging she was fired after she filed for workers’ compensation benefits.

Jessica Taylor claims she worked as a field supervisor for defendant HCR Manorcare Health Services doing business as Heartland Employment Services for two years before she sustained work-related injuries on Feb. 3.

Taylor wanted to seek medical treatment for her injuries, but Heartland refused to pay for medical treatment. In turn, Taylor was forced to threaten sanctions under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, according to the complaint filed Nov. 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. Heartland’s supervisors began punishing Taylor for filing for workers’ compensation benefits, the suit states.

“Upon the filing of her workers’ compensation claims, defendant targeted plaintiff and disciplined plaintiff for acceptable behavior and punished plaintiff for behavior that was acceptable for employees who did not file workers’ compensation claims,” the complaint says.

In July, Heartland agreed to allow Taylor to seek medical treatment, but refused to cooperate with her post-surgical needs, causing her to cancel appointments on Sept. 18, she claims.

On Nov. 2, Heartland provided notification saying that it had terminated Taylor, according to the complaint.

“Plaintiff was not released to light or modified duty and was still under the temporary total disability benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act,” the suit states.

Because of her employer’s actions, Taylor lost income, suffered emotional distress, lost her enjoyment of life, lost income and lost benefits, the complaint says.

In her complaint, Taylor is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs, attorney’s fees and punitive damages.

She will be represented by Brian Stokes of The Stokes Law Office in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-578.


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