An animal nutrition company removed a former employee’s lawsuit alleging he suffered sexual harassment by fellow employees and was later terminated for reporting the alleged incidents.

The defendants removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois on Nov. 13 through attorneys Jill K. Luft and Lauren A. Daming of Greensfelder Hemker & Gale in St. Louis.

They argue that removal is proper because the case involves a federal question, which is defined in the notice as “’civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.’”

Cedric Harmon filed his lawsuit on Sept. 14 against Trouw Nutrition USA LLC, Jeff Hornberger and Luke Isringhausen.

According to the complaint, Harmon claims that during his employment for Trouw Nutrition, he was subjected to continual sexual harassment from Hornberger in the form of touching, inappropriate remarks and comments and humiliation, which he says resulted in a hostile work environment.

During this time, the plaintiff claims he reported the misconduct to Isringhausen but he and Trouw Nutrition failed to take the necessary steps to reprimand Hornberger. Instead, Harmon alleges he was terminated on July 14, 2014,  in retaliation for filing the complaints.

Harmon seeks a judgment of more than $50,000 for damages, plus court costs and other relief the court deems just. He also seeks a trial by jury.

He is represented by Michael J. Brunton and Mary M. Stewart of Brunton Law Offices in Collinsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1186

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