Worker claims job injury led to termination

Kelly Holleran Oct. 2, 2008, 11:00am

Jerry Rhodes has filed suit against Extra Help and Fairfield Processing Corporation, alleging he was wrongfully terminated and was denied a position previously promised him after he filed for worker's compensation.

Rhodes was injured in May while he worked for Extra Help and as a leased employee for Fairfield Processing, according to the complaint filed Oct. 1 in St. Clair Circuit Court.

After Rhodes reported the injury to both companies, he was instructed on May 22 to visit Gateway Occupational Health Clinic for medical treatment, the suit states.

Rhodes claims he visited the facility on May 23 and was given a slip stating that he could return to work with no restrictions.

But he was fired when he tried to return, according to the complaint.

He also was denied a promotion as a full-time supervisor at Fairfield Processing after he filed for worker's compensation, the suit states.

Rhodes claims that since his termination he has lost wages, benefits and bonuses and has suffered embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress and loss of reputation and standing in his community.

"The termination of Plaintiff's employment by Defendant, Extra Help, Inc., was in retaliation for Plaintiff exercising his rights under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act," the suit states.

Rhodes claims the termination of the job offer given to Rhodes was also in retaliation for his filing of worker's compensation.

By firing Rhodes, Extra Help "intentionally interfered" with his expectancy to get hired at Fairfield Processing, according to the complaint.

"There was a reasonable certainty that Plaintiff would, in fact, have been employed full time as a supervisor by Defendant, Fairfield Processing Dorporation, bur for the Defendant, Extra Help, Inc.'s, tortuous interference," the suit states.

In the three-count suit, Rhodes is seeking a judgment in excess of $150,000, unspecified punitive damages and court costs.

Mark S. Schuver of Mathis, Maririan, Richter & Grandy in Belleville will be representing him.


More News