Women claim Village of Cahokia broke employment contracts

Kelly Holleran Oct. 26, 2011, 1:54am

Two women have filed suit against the village of Cahokia, alleging the town wrongly terminated them and failed to follow a payment plan as outlined in their employment contracts.

Betty Sharp claims she worked as finance director for Cahokia while Denise Brown alleges she was employed as the village's director of pool and rink. In accepting their positions, both women signed a contract with the town in which it agreed to pay them a certain amount every year, even in the event they got terminated, according to the complaint.

In Sharp's contract, the city agreed to pay her $60,000 per year and to provide her with health insurance benefits, the suit states. In Brown's contract, the town promised to pay her $923.08 per week, plus health benefits, the complaint says.

Despite the contracts, however, the village of Cahokia terminated Sharp on May 10 and Brown on March 10, they claim. The city has refused to pay the wages and health benefits the plaintiffs claim they should receive.

Sharp claims she also was forced to retire early, thus forcing her to pay her own medi-gap insurance coverage, which Cahokia would have paid had Sharp been able to remain employed longer.

Because of their termination, the women claim they lost wages and suffered a diminished amount of retirement benefits.

In their two-count complaint, Sharp and Brown seek a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jerald J. Bonifield of the Law Offices of Bonifield and Rosenstengel in Belleville will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-586.

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