Taco Bell worker claims she was terminated after reporting threats

By Kelly Holleran | Nov 12, 2013

A woman has filed suit against her former employer, alleging she was fired from her job after she reported threats and physical abuse made by one of her co-workers.

Jean Garriott filed a lawsuit Oct. 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Taco Bell Corp., Barbara Bishop and Tamaria Kitchen.

In her complaint, Garriott alleges she had begun working for Taco Bell in 1992. In 2011, she was working for the restaurant at 6599 North Illinois Street in Fairview Heights. One of Garriott’s co-workers, Tamaria Kitchen, began to verbally and violently threaten Garriott, according to the complaint.

Garriott reported Kitchen’s actions, but Taco Bell did nothing to prevent them from occurring, the suit states.

On Oct. 31, 2011, Kitchen pushed Garriott, the complaint says. Garriott reported the incident to her general manager, Barbara Bishop, but says nothing was done to punish Kitchen. In fact, Garriott was terminated from her position the same day, according to the complaint.

“Garriott’s discharge from her employment with Taco Bell is causally related to Garriott’s report of her co-worker’s Kitchen’s verbal, physical, and violent and illegal threats and illegal physical push/attack," the suit states.

Because of her job loss, Garriott lost wages and suffered emotional distress, the complaint says.

In her complaint, Garriott seeks a judgment of more than $250,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Michael J. Brunton and Mary M. Stewart of Brunton Law Offices in Collinsville will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-551.

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