Truck driver allegedly told to resign or be fired after filing workers’ compensation claim

A former truck driver for a gas and chemical company is alleging he was told to resign or be fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Joel Straus filed a complaint Jan. 4 in the Madison County Circuit Court against Air Products and Chemicals Inc., alleging retaliatory discharge.

Straus was employed as a truck driver for Air Products and Chemicals for 13 years, according to his complaint. He alleges that on July 24, 2019, he “lacerated his head” during a “pre-trip inspection of his truck.” Straus was taken to the hospital by his supervisor, where he received 10 stitches and was then released to return to work.

Straus alleges he filed a workers’ compensation claim for his on-the-job injury. He claims that in an effort to make him “an example” to other employees who had been hurt on the job in the weeks prior to his alleged injury, he was suspended for four days.

Straus claims that on July 31, 2019, he was told by supervisors that he failed to wear a hardhat during his truck inspection, although it was not required, and that he could resign or be fired. He further alleges he was forced to resign over fears he would have been “blacklisted” in the trucking industry.

Straus seeks compensation of more than $50,000 and all other just relief.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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