Five file wrongful termination lawsuit against Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission

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Five former employees have filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission.

The five were among 16 employees dismissed July 9.

The firings violated the state Workers’ Compensation Act and Open Meeting Act, the five former employees claim in the lawsuit filed Friday in Oklahoma County District Court.

The five former employees also claim age discrimination — stating that 13 of the 16 terminated workers were older than 40 years old.

They are asking a judge to void their terminations and reinstate them with back pay and benefits. They also are seeking damages for emotional distress, attorney fees and a judicial prohibition against retaliation.

Rick Farmer, the commission’s executive director, said Tuesday he could not comment on the lawsuit because it involves pending litigation.

The lawsuit was filed by former employees Katral McKnight, Rewa Lynn Carrier, Debbie Gray, Kara Anderson and Kevin Idleman. Jim Priest is their attorney.

A sixth former employee, Angela Sanders, previously filed a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission in which she alleged wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation. Among other things, Sanders alleged the commission fired her in retaliation for her having filed a workers’ compensation claim for an on-the-job injury.

Farmer said no hearing date has been scheduled on that claim.

Friday’s lawsuit was filed on the same day that the state attorney…

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