Cabell man says Sears fired him over workers' comp claim

By Cara Bailey | Aug 16, 2007

HUNTINGTON - A Cabell County man has filed a suit against Sears claiming he was fired as a result of workers' compensation he received.

Gary McKenzie filed a suit July 25 in Cabell Circuit Court against Sears, Roebuck and Co., Carol Wilson and Sharon Caudill.

McKenzie was a salesman at Sears for more than 10 years when he was injured April 2006 at the store. He required 14 sutures to close a cut on his leg. According to the suit, McKenzie filed for workers' compensation to cover the medical expenses and bills.

According to the suit, McKenzie claims Wilson and Caudill, employees of Sears, disapproved of the workers' compensation and treated McKenzie in an openly negative manner.

In May 2007, McKenzie was handling the sale of a plasma-screen television at the Sears in the Huntington Mall. The customer asked about the price-match policy Sears has, which requires Sears to match the price of its competitors on the same item.

The customer McKenzie was working with asked about the same item in an ad from Circuit City. McKenzie started the sale, and claims he obtained proper management interaction and approval. However, the sale was voided because the customer did not have a vehicle adequate enough to transport the television.

According to the suit, the customer returned at 9 a.m. the next morning, and McKenzie did not start his shift until 11 a.m. McKenzie claims he started his shift and was told to wait on customers who had been waiting about two hours for his shift to begin.

McKenzie completed the sale, which required authorization from Caudill, who approved it.

The next week, McKenzie was told there was an investigation into the sale, which concluded there was a violation concerning the price-match policy. At that time, McKenzie was fired.

McKenzie claims he was guilty of no misconduct when he was fired, and he suffered lost wages and benefits, as well as indignity, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress.

In the six-count suit, McKenzie seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney Michael A. Olivio is representing McKenzie.

Cabell Circuit Court case number 07-C-636

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