Madison - St. Clair Record

Friday, February 28, 2020

Woman accuses former employer of defamation


By Shanice Harris | Aug 12, 2019


EDWARDSVILLE -- A Madison County woman is suing her former employer for allegedly providing false information to a potential future employer.

Burrae Rocha filed a suit in the Madison County Circuit Court on July 30 against her former employer, Help at Home LLC and Wannetta Akers, alleging defamatory conduct. She claims her former employer prevented her from engaging in future employee opportunities.

According to the complaint, Rocha was an employee of Chicago-based Help at Home, which operates several locations in the state of Illinois. Rocha allegedly worked at the Wood River facility. Akers also worked at Help at Home as Rocha's supervising manager during this time. 

Rocha alleges that after she left her employment with the defendant, she applied for employment at ADDUS and Senior Services, located in Chicago. She claims she was offered a position. However, she allegedly later learned that Akers gave prospective employers false information on why she left the company. 

Rocha accuses the defendants of lying to potential future employers, telling them she was fired because of time sheet fraud, which is a crime, the suit states. 

As a result of the defendants' alleged actions, Rocha claims her job offer from ADDUS and Senior Services was withdrawn. 

She alleges Akers' claims were defamatory, harmful to her reputation, and caused her to lose future employment. 

Rocha is represented by Keith Short and Jack Daugherty of Short and Daugherty, P.C. 

“We are committed to protecting the rights of workers,” said Daugherty. “This includes aggressively defending the reputations of workers defamed by employers and former employers.”

Rocha is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages for emotional distress and lost wages.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 19-L-1069

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