Olin Corp. named in retaliatory discharge suit

Kelly Holleran Oct. 21, 2008, 8:58am

A former Olin Corporation worker has filed suit against the company, claiming he was wrongfully fired for enacting his worker's compensation benefits.

Jeff Keffer II claims he was also discharged from the same company in January 2002 in retaliation for his refusal to return to work without his physician's release.

Keffer claims he worked for Olin until he was terminated on Oct. 12, 2006, after he filed for worker's compensation, according to a complaint filed Oct. 14 in Madison County Circuit Court.

He first informed his employer of his work-related back injury on Aug. 16, 2006, and exercised his workers' compensation rights, the suit states.

"Defendant had no legitimate reason for Plaintiff's termination other than his exercise of worker's compensation benefits, and Plaintiff was immediately terminated on or about Oct. 12, 2006 following his exercise of his right to independent physician review and his right to require Plaintiff's employer to pay for his medical expenses," the suit states.

Keffer's first discharge was "in retaliation for his opposition to his employer's demand that Plaintiff return to work prior to release by his physicians and by his opposing the practice of Defendant Olin's retention of non-objective 'Company Doctors' whose bias as to Plaintiff's capacity to work and need for restrictions were unreasonable," the suit states.

Because of his discharge and termination, Keffer claims he has incurred lost wages, lost benefits, loss of wage enhancement and promotional opportunities and has been deprived of credits against his retirement for Social Security.

In the two-count suit, Keffer seeks unspecified damages and sums in excess of $50,000.

John J. Pawloski of St. Louis will be representing Keffer.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-959.

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