Former Glen Carbon police officer alleges retaliation for workers’ compensation claim over COVID-19 cleaning chemicals

A former Glen Carbon police officer alleges he was fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim after suffering respiratory problems from the COVID-19 fogger disinfectant used in Village buildings.

Bronson Painter filed a complaint Aug. 20 in the Madison County Circuit Court against Village of Glen Carbon, IL., Todd A. Link, individually and in his official capacity alleging violation of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, retaliatory discharge, violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Act and other claims.

According to Painter’s complaint, he began working as police officer for the Village of Glen Carbon on Nov. 3, 2008, with Link serving as police chief. He alleges that in early 2020, the Village began disinfecting its buildings as a precaution to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Spring of 2020, a new company was hired and used a different chemical for fogger cleaner called Gold Cleaner. Painter claims that in March 2020, he began to experience respiratory problems after the new cleaner was used. He also allegedly suffered irritation to his eyes, nose and throat.

Painter claims that in September 2020, his symptoms began to worsen, and he had to be treated by a pulmonologist for “reactive airway disease.” Painter alleges he filed a workers’ compensation claim and investigated the alleged improper use of the cleaner. He claims he faced retaliation over the issue and was terminated on March 25.

Painter seeks monetary relief, interest, trial by jury and all other just relief.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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