A St. Clair County man has filed suit against Schnuck Markets, alleging he was wrongfully terminated from his employment as an assistant manager because of his age.

Gary Rittenhouse had worked for the Belleville Schnuck Markets from Aug. 15, 1977, until his termination on May 15, 2007, according to the complaint filed Feb. 27 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

When Rittenhouse began working for the company, he was a bagger and eventually worked his way up to assistant manager, the suit states.

At the time he was fired, Rittenhouse was 44, he claims.

"At the time of his termination, Plaintiff was doing the job well enough to meet the employer's reasonable expectations," the suit states. "Plaintiff was discharged in whole or in material part because of his age."

Because of his termination, Rittenhouse lost income, suffered a diminution in his employability and suffered humiliation and severe emotional distress that required medical and professional treatment, according to the complaint.

Rittenhouse is seeking a judgment in an amount that will fully compensate him, plus attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems appropriate.

He is represented by Stephen P. McGlynn of McGlynn and McGlynn in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0109.

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