The Indiana Attorney General's Office is suing two Lafayette trucking and logistics companies for allegedly firing a woman after she reported workplace violence.
In February, Elizabeth Britt filed a complaint with theIndiana Department of Labor accusing her former employer, GC3 Logistics Inc. of wrongful termination based on whistle-blower discrimination.
In Indiana, filing a complaint of workplace violence is a protected action. It is illegal for employers to fire or discriminate against employees who report such claims, under the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Act.
If found in violation of state statute, the company could be forced to compensate Britt with back pay for missed wages and benefits, and expenses incurred. It also faces paying punitive penalties.
Britt was employed as a dispatcher for less than a month, according to court documents.
Although GC3 Logistics hired Britt, in a police incident report she listed her employer as "Action Trucking," or Action SCS LLC, which has the same registered Attica address as GC3 Logistics, according to Secretary of State records.
Court documents also state that GC3 Logistics and Action SCS LLC share management and ownership.
She accuses Thomas Schouten, a company contract driver, of moving toward her in an intimidating fashion and threatening her on Feb. 17.
Britt reported to police that Schouten screamed comments such as, "B-tch, you ever threaten me again, I will hunt you down and kick you're a--," according to the police incident report filed the same day.
Britt did not know exactly what angered Schouten, according to the incident report, but said she sent him a group text that stated, "If we do not have your paperwork by 5 p.m. today, you will not be paid this week."
Doug Skoog, president of GC3 Logistics, which has offices in Lafayette and Attica, confirmed that Britt was an employee at the Lafayette office, in the 2500 block of Veterans Memorial Parkway East.
But he denied any wrongdoing.
"Britt was released because of her performance, and I'll leave it at that," he said.
Britt filed for a protective order the day after the incident. The court, however, denied Britt's request, citing a lack of evidence.
The attorney general's office argues she told company management that she had been threatened and feared for her safety but management did not want to get involved, forcing the court to deny her protective order request.
On Feb. 25, Britt was fired from her job. The driver's employment also was terminated, but it is not clear when.
Shortly after she was fired, the company rehired the contract driver, according to court documents.