A Missouri woman is filing suit in the wake of her employment termination, alleging retaliation and violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act because of her sexual orientation.
Tracy Fortenberry filed the suit on Dec. 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against HAL Group, formerly known as S&H Medical Management Services Inc., of Illinois, claiming unlawful discrimination
On March 23, 2010, the plaintiff was hired by the defendant as a vocational consultant. Part of her work included providing medical case management for those with workers compensation claims filed in St. Clair County.
Shortly after her hire date, the plaintiff disclosed to her supervisor and to the president of HAL Group that she is gay. The suit alleges the plaintiff then was subjected to discrimination and derogatory comments directed toward her based on her sexual orientation.
On May 29, 2014, Fortenberry was terminated, with the reason allegedly given as market conditions and ongoing concerns regarding the plaintiff's work performance. The suit alleges, however, that until she complained about the derogatory remarks, all her work performance evaluations were positive. Fortenberry also alleges the termination is a result of retaliation for her opposing the unlawful discrimination.
The plaintiff allegedly has lost wages, benefits and the enjoyment of a normal life; experienced emotional distress, severe mental anguish and depression; and no longer engages in normal activities. She seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus court costs and attorney fees. She is represented by Ryan J. Mahoney of Cates Mahoney LLC in Swansea.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-730