The Chicago Employment Law Blog

Man Claims He Was Fired After Filing For Workers Comp

Downstate newspaper St. Clair Record reported on a lawsuit by Cahokia resident Antoine Smith, who claims he former employee canned him after he filed for workers comp insurance. He worked for Allied Services in 2008 from Aug. 18 through Nov. 12, when he was terminated.

Antoine Smith claims he sustained work-related injuries on Sept. 4, 2008, reported the incident to his employer and sought medical attention. He then filed a claim, took some time off work and received benefits.

However, as his Illinois workers compensation attorney stated in the complaint, Antoine Smith received notification that he was being let go:

"...he was terminated under the pretext of leaving work without notification and a reduction in the work force but was actually terminated due to his exercise of rights under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act."

Antoine Smith said he lost wages, health and dental insurance coverage, seniority, vacation time, 401(k) and other pension benefits. He also is claiming pain and emotional distress in the lawsuit, which seeks more than $100,000 plus legal costs.

Illinois workers who are terminated for what they believe are false reasons may have reason to file a wrongful termination suit, but only a licensed Chicago employment lawyer can make that determination.

FindLaw explains the various different types of wrongful termination claims that an employee must consider, including retaliation against an employee who exercising his or her rights within a given jurisdiction. In Antoine Walker's case, he claims that he was fired for exercising his rights as an injured worker.

Also, an employer must be able to prove that a reduction in force was just that and not an act of discrimination or retaliation.

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