Metro Truck worker claims retaliatory discharge, unpaid overtime

Kelly Holleran Jan. 21, 2010, 2:42pm

A Madison County man claims his former employer wrongly terminated him after he filed for workers' compensation benefits. In addition, the company allegedly failed to pay its employees correctly for overtime hours they worked.

Stephen Ryan filed a lawsuit Jan. 13 in Madison County Circuit Court against Metro Truck and Trailer Repair.

Ryan claims he began working at Metro Truck, but says the company failed to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act by only paying one and one-half times employees' regular pay after they had worked in excess of 50 hours per week.

"Defendant either failed to post FLSA notice regarding overtime or undermined any such posting by notifying Plaintiff that Defendant was not subject to the overtime provisions of the FLSA set forth on such posting," the suit states.

In a separate count of his suit, Ryan also claims Metro Truck fired him in retaliation for his filing for worker's compensation benefits.

Ryan sustained an injury while working for Metro Truck on Dec. 5, 2008, according to the complaint. Later, Ryan notified his foreman that he would be forced to miss work and would need to undergo surgery in late December 2008 or early January 2009 because of the accident, the complaint says.

"Beginning immediately after Plaintiff notified his foreman of Plaintiff's need to undergo surgery, and continuing until August 14, 2009, Plaintiff's foreman treated Plaintiff less favorably than he treated similarly situated employees in the terms and conditions of Plaintiff's employment," the suit states. "In January or February 2009, Plaintiff's foreman advised at least one of Plaintiff's co-workers that the foreman intended to terminate Plaintiff's employment."

On July 2, Ryan against notified his boss that he required extra days off because of his December injury, according to the complaint.

And on Aug. 14, Metro Truck fired Ryan, the complaint says.

"Defendant's termination of Plaintiff's employment was causally related to Plaintiff's exercise of his rights under the Workers' Compensation Act; namely, Defendant terminated Plaintiff's employment because Plaintiff exercised his rights under the Workers' Compensation Act," the suit states.

Because of Metro Truck's actions, Ryan claims he lost past and future wages and suffered mental anguish, distress and humiliation.

In the two-count suit, Ryan seeks unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, plus attorneys' fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Kenneth J. Brennan of The Kenneth Brennan Law Firm in Collinsville will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-32.

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