A former employee of Howard Johnson Express Inn of Collinsville filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court June 6, alleging she was fired after exercising her rights for requesting workers' compensation benefits.

Amber Wilson claims she was injured in an accident during the course of her employment with Howard Johnson on June 15, 2003, and requested workers' compensation benefits.

"Amber Wilson was discharged from her job at Howard Johnson," the complaint states.

She claims her discharge was casually related to her request for benefits even though there is a clear mandate of Illinois public policy prohibiting discharge from employment for filing a workers' compensation claim and requesting benefits.

Wilson claims her discharge caused her to sustain past and future pain and suffering, emotional trauma, past lost wages, future earnings and fringe benefits.

"Amber Wilson is entitled to an award of punitive damages for Howard Johnson's unreasonable and vexatious discharge," the complaint states.

Represented by Michael Brunton of Collinsville, Wilson is seeking a judgment that exceeds $50,000, plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.

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