A man says his former employer fired him after he filed for workers' compensation benefits.

Jeffery A. Harbison filed a lawsuit Dec. 14 in Madison County Circuit Court against R.P. Lumber Company.

Harbison claims he worked for R.P. Lumber for about 10 years before he sustained an injury while working on May 21.

On June 9, Harbison exercised his right to file an Illinois workers' compensation claim, according to the complaint.

Harbison's physician released his return to work on Oct. 5, but R.P. Lumber President Robert Plummer terminated Harbison the same day, the suit states.

"That said involuntary discharge arose out of and in retaliation of plaintiff's exercise of his rights under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act," the complaint says.

Because of his alleged wrongful termination, Harbison says he lost wages, benefits and promotions; incurred costs associated with attempting to secure another job; experienced a diminution of wages; and suffered humiliation and mental distress.

Harbison seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Keith Short of Hazlett and Short in Shiloh will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1346.

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