Tree trimmer claims sex discrimination in suit

Kelly Holleran Jun. 9, 2010, 9:21am

An Edwardsville woman claims her former employer repeatedly denied her advancement in the company because of her sex.

Accusing Shade Tree Service Company of violating the Missouri Human Rights Act, Sara Eyster filed a lawsuit June 3 in Madison County Circuit Court against the company.

Eyster claims she began working for the company as a T-1 apprentice tree trimmer in October 2008.

During her employment, Eyster claims Shade Tree subjected her to different terms and conditions because of her status as a female, refused to allow her any job advancement by not providing her proper training and refused to promote her. In addition, Shade Tree verbally harassed Eyster and threatened to terminate her because of her lack of advancement, terminated her because of her sex and terminated her in retaliation for her filing discrimination charges with federal and state agencies, according to the complaint.

"Plaintiff was qualified and able to do other job responsibilities, higher job positions, but because of the above has been unable to have the opportunity to be trained or even do said work so as to be promoted," the suit states.

Because of the way her employer treated her, Eyster experienced pain and suffering, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, embarrassment and loss of wages, the complaint says.

In her complaint, Eyster seeks compensatory damages of more than $50,000 and punitive damages of more than $50,000, plus attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Thomas O. Falb of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-581.

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