The Madison County Record Apr. 13, 2015, 8:11am

A former gas station cashier alleges she was wrongfully harassed and terminated after filing a workers compensation claim for an injured knee.

Kendra Ursprung filed a complaint on March 31 in Madison County Circuit Court against Midwest Petroleum Co. of St. Louis, claiming wrongful action in her 2012 work termination.

The defendant, headquartered at 6760 Southwest Ave. in St. Louis, operates gas and convenience stores in Illinois and Missouri, according to the filing. Ursprung was hired as a cashier by the defendant in 2009 and worked in two of the company’s locations in Illinois.

According to the complaint, when the plaintiff incurred a knee injury at work in April 2011, she filed a workers’ compensation claim, returning to work uneventfully and with appropriate documentation in July 2011.

The lawsuit contends that following her injury, the plaintiff’s work hours were substantially reduced, despite her having been promoted to assistant manager of the store. Ursprung also alleges that the defendant began to harass her via excessive discipline for perceived infractions.

After a text message conversation with her district manager in January 2012, Ursprung was terminated, supposedly for texting while at work, despite evidence that other employees did so regularly.

The suit accuses the employer of violating the Illinois public policy in its alleged retaliatory termination based on the plaintiff’s exercising her right to workers’ compensation.

Alleging lost wages and benefits, Ursprung seeks compensatory damages in excess of $50,000, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. She is represented by Lee Barron and William Buchanan of Lee Barron Law in Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-419

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