Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Woman alleges wrongful termination

By Kasey Schefflin-Emrich | Oct 20, 2015

An Illinois woman is suing her former employer for allegedly engaging in unlawful employment practices.

Ardell Dougherty filed a lawsuit on Sept. 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Willow Creek Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, doing business as Bridgemark Healthcare, Helia Healthcare of Belleville and Employee Services, alleging violations of Illinois Public Policy and the Illinois Human Rights Act.

According to the complaint, Dougherty filed a worker's compensation claim after being injured in an accident while in the course of her employment with the defendant in October 2013. She returned to work on a part-time basis in June 2014 and obtained clearance from her medical care provider to return to work full-time the following month.

The suit states that a week after returning to work on a full-time basis Dougherty was discharged from her employment, which she believes was in retaliation for requesting worker's compensation benefits.

As indicated in the filing, Dougherty contends she was also subjected to discrimination and harassment because of her disability and age. She alleges these factors were additional reasons for her termination. She also alleges her discharge was in retaliation for her exercising her law-protected right of reporting the discrimination to defendant supervisors.

Dougherty claims she has and will continue to endure emotional distress, mental anguish, inconvenience and lost wages and benefits.

Dougherty seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. She is being represented by attorneys Michael J. Brunton and Mary M. Stewart of Brunton Law Offices in Collinsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-514.

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