Kelly Holleran Nov. 5, 2013, 10:27am

A former Popeye's Chicken worker has filed suit saying its managers falsely accused her of smoking marijuana in the bathroom and fired her for the alleged offense.

Erica Gooch claims she went to change her shoes in the bathroom of the Fairview Heights restaurant before her shift began on Oct. 19, 2012. Her manager, Tara, then went to use the bathroom, according to the complaint filed Oct. 18 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

“Tara exited the bathroom and accused Erica of having a ‘stick,’ meaning a stem from marijuana,” the suit states. “Tara accused Erica, in front of the entire restaurant, of smoking marijuana in the bathroom.”

Gooch denied Tara’s accusations and continues to maintain her innocence, the complaint says. Despite this, Gooch was terminated, according to the complaint.

In her complaint, Gooch is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just from defendant Sailormen, Inc.

Jim Ellis of Ellis Law Firm in Belleville will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-532.

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