A former employee of Schnuck Markets who worked his way up from entry level bagger to assistant manager has filed a wrongful termination suit in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint filed May 15, Gary Rittenhouse claims he was terminated May 15, 2007, after handling paperwork for another employee's workers' compensation claim.

"Defendant terminated Plaintiff to punish him for following Illinois law regarding the employee-claimant's rights and to induce others in management positions to discourage or frustrate employees from exercising their rights under Illinois' Workers Compensation and Occupational Disease Acts or otherwise to encourage management to interfere with rights of employees pursuant to those Acts," the complaint states.

Rittenhouse claims he has sustained a substantial loss of income and benefits and suffered a diminution in his employability. He also claims he suffered humiliation and severe emotional distress which required medical and professional treatment as well as prescription medication.

Represented by Stephen P. McGlynn of Belleville, a former appellate court judge, Rittenhouse is seeking in excess of $15,000 in damages.

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