Fired mental health worker fires back with $150k suit

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 5, 2005, 5:49am

Comprehensive Mental Health Center of St. Clair County

Comprehensive Mental Health Center (CMHC) of St. Clair County was sued by a fomer employee for breach of contract and retaliatory discharge in St. Clair County Circuit Court March 28.

Raheem Adegboye of Missouri claims he was given a bad performance evaluation on June 28, 2001, after requesting a leave of absence to visit his father who was gravely ill on June 21, 2001. Adegboye, who claims the leave should have been protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act, also alleges the evaluation was "pretextual justification of the fabricated firing."

Adegboye is represented by John Pawloski of St. Louis. He is seeking damages for lost wages, loss of future bonuses and raises, pension contributions, and for injury to his professional reputation as a result of his termination in an amount to exceed $150,000.

“Adegboye's termination violated defendant’s policies and employment handbook concerning termination for allegedly poor work performance as Adegboye was not placed on probationary status, nor did his alleged performance issues give rise to immediate termination under CMHC’s handbook and established office policy,” the complaint states.

Before 1997, Adegboye claims CMHC made an unambiguous promise that he would not be fired except for good cause shown in exchange for his promise to forego other employment opportunities, and that except for reasons not pertinent to the facts at issue, he would be provided a written warning before termination.

Adegboye is also seeking punitive damages in an amount sufficient to deter CMHC and others similarly situated from intentional and unlawful conduct as well as reckless disregard for his rights along with a court order requiring his reinstatement at CMHC to his same job position, salary, and seniority.

05 L 210 (20th Circuit)

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