MARTINSBURG - A Maryland woman says she was fired from her job as a child care worker for refusing to work more hours than her doctor allowed following knee surgery.

Jennifer Gladhill filed a lawsuit July 7 in Berkeley Circuit Court against the Board of Child Care of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church and employee Brian Hall, the assistant director of operations in West Virginia.

She says she was hired in 2003, but suffered a serious knee injury July 12, 2004, that caused her to delay college graduation and eventually required two surgeries.

Her doctor allowed her to return to light duty on Oct. 12, meaning she could work 20 hours per week. The lawsuit says Hall told her no light duty was available, and that she would have to work 30 hours per week.

Unable to reach a compromise, she says she agreed to take another month off work completely. When she attempted to return, she says Hall sent her a letter expressing she had been fired.

She says the reason given was her refusal of light duty.

"The defendants were motivated to and did discriminate and retaliate against Ms. Gladhill because of her receipt of Workers Compensation benefits in violation of West Virginia law," the complaint says.

It adds that almost 47 hours of vacation time that she had accumulated have not been paid to her.

She is seeking compensatory damages and court costs.

Martinsburg attorney David Hammer is representing her.

Judge Christopher Wilkes has been assigned the case.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 06-C-471

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