McDonald's employee files retaliatory discharge suit

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 19, 2007, 5:47am


A former manager at the Salem McDonald's filed a retaliatory discharge suit against the fast food restaurant alleging she was fired after filing for workers' compensation benefits.

According to the suit filed June 14 in Madison County Circuit Court, Deanna Carter-Gramlick claims that on Feb. 5, 2006, she was injured at work while resolving a dispute between a crew member and a customer.

Carter-Gramlick was hired as a salaried manager at McDonald's in January 2005, the complaint states.

She claims that due to ongoing symptoms in her left shoulder she continued to receive medical treatment including physical therapy, medications, and other conservative treatment.

According to Carter-Gramlick, McDonald's turned over her claim to its workers' compensation insurance carrier and began paying for the medical bills.

Carter-Gramlick claims that in June 2006, she was informed that she needed surgery on her left shoulder and advised that the insurance carrier was disputing payment on the surgery.

She claims she hired an attorney and an application for an adjustment of claim was mailed for filing to the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission (IWCC).

Carter-Gramlick claims the president of co-defendant Timtan Inc., Tim McCarthy, contacted her at home on June 16, 2006, after the adjustment was filed and told her that he had to hire an attorney and that his insurance rates would increase.

According to the complaint, Carter-Gramlick had surgery on June 20, 2006, and was off work for two weeks. Upon her return to work she was told to report to the Centralia McDonald's, a 22-mile increase in driving distance.

She claims that once she reported back to work, another manager started harassing her, causing her to report the harassment.

"Despite the harassment and the reportings, plaintiff was wrongfully discharged from her employment on July 15, 2006," the complaint states.

Carter-Gramlick contends her discharge was directly related to her filing the workers' compensation claim.

She claims her discharge has resulted in lost wages, emotional distress, anxiety and claims she has been unable to find similar employment.

Represented by Michael Glisson of Alton, Carter-Gramlick is seeking damages in excess of $100,000, plus costs.

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