Lawsuit claims woman was fired after work injury

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 21, 2008, 2:15am

Martha Gossett has filed a retaliatory discharge complaint against Cope Plastics, alleging she was fired after sustaining a work related injury.

Gossett alleges in August 2006, she notified her supervisor of a workplace injury and filed a claim for benefits pursuant to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act.

The lawsuit was filed in Madison County Circuit Court on July 3, Gossett is represented by Ferne Wolf of St. Louis.

She claims that on Jan. 9, 2007, Cope retaliated and breached their contract by terminating her employment because of the injury she sustained.

Gossett also claims Cope violated the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, Fair Labor Standards Act and Wage Collection and Payment Act by failing to pay her overtime for the hours she worked in excess of 40 hours a week.

She claims from the start of her employment until her termination, she would "periodically" work in excess of 40 hours per week and did not receive time and a half for the overtime hours.

Gossett said in court papers that her termination caused her to be damaged in that she lost wages and other benefits of full employment.

Gossett also claims her termination caused and will continue to cause her to suffer inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of enjoyment of life.

She is seeking a judgment in an amount to be established at trial in excess of $250,000, along with costs, reasonable attorneys' fees, and two percent of the underpayments for each month during they remained unpaid.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David Hylla.

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