Andrea Dearden Nov. 14, 2012, 7:16am

An employee of a Granite City lawn care company says he was fired from his job for asking about unemployment benefits.

Joshua Ainsworth filed a lawsuit Nov. 2 in Madison County Circuit Court against Lawncomer Inc., doing business as Lawncomer, and Daniel Comer.

Ainsworth says he was a seasonal worker employed by Lawncomer in 2010. Ainsworth says he asked his supervisor, Daniel Comer, when he and the other employees could expect to be laid off so he would know if he needed to file for unemployment compensation benefits.

Ainsworth claims Comer told him he could not file for unemployment benefits and, if he did, Lawncomer would deny them. Comer also allegedly told Ainsworth that he could not file for benefits and work for the company again in the future.

Ainsworth says he complained to Comer that what he was told was illegal and a violation of Illinois' Unemployment Insurance Act. Despite those claims, Ainsworth says he was fired from Lawncomer in November 2010.

Lawncomer and Comer are accused of terminating Ainsworth in retaliation for reporting illegal activities to his employer. The plaintiff asks for more than $100,000 in damages, including punitive, for lost wages and benefits plus court costs.

Attorneys Michael J. Brunton and Mary M. Stewart, of Collinsville, represent Ainsworth.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-1788

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