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Archive for Tuesday, January 28, 1992

WOMAN SUES STORE AFTER SHE WAS FIRED

January 28, 1992

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A Lawrence woman is suing a statewide grocery store chain, charging that her firing earlier this month was an act of retaliation.

Tina Martinez is suing the Dillon Companies Inc. on two counts, which are breach of contract and retaliatory discharge. She alleges that the action resulting in her dismissal from the Dillon store at 3000 W. Sixth on Jan. 10 should not have resulted in immediate termination under company policy. Her attorney, Don Strole, said the incident that led to the firing occurred when his client checked out items she was purchasing herself. Strole said another store employee watched Martinez as she checked out most of the items. The other employee then completed the transaction, he said, and there was no allegation of the store losing money.

Martinez contends that the store did not give her prior warnings before she was terminated, and that she "had never been the subject of any previous disciplinary action before this incident occurred."

She also says that she "made a complaint against Robert Weigel for sexual harassment" with Dillon's headquarters in August 1989, and that she was fired by Weigel, who manages the Dillon's store on Sixth Street.

Martinez alleges in the suit, which was filed Monday in Douglas County District Court, that her termination "was in retaliation for the plaintiff's complaint of sexual harassment against her supervisor, Robert Weigel."

She is seeking more than $50,000 for each count of the suit.

Ken Keefer, director of advertising and public relations for Dillons in Hutchinson, declined to comment on the suit.

"Our policy is that we cannot comment on this at this point," he said.

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