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Friday, May 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Employer of the Week – Not

CHICAGO (CN) - A widow claims her husband's bosses at Allstate harassed him so badly he committed suicide, and that an Allstate employee entered his room "while he was still hanging, and confiscated the company-issued laptop computer," before she even arrived.

Rita Wilcox, the widow, says her husband Robert had worked for Allstate for 36 years. She too worked for Allstate, she says, through "a company referred to as Pilot, but worked at the direction and control of defendant Allstate Insurance Company as a contract employee."

She claims Allstate demoted her husband in 2004, "for no performance based reason and after over thirty years of faithful employment to Allstate." Robert attributed his demotion to age discrimination. He also complained to his bosses of harassment - that Allstate was trying to force him into retirement - his widow says in her federal complaint.

In 2009, she says, she and her husband were transferred to Chicago, and her husband was placed "under the supervision of two substantially younger females who had less than half his experience from his 36 years with Allstate."

Robert complained again that it was age discrimination, and Pilot then fired her and she moved back to Houston, while Robert stayed in Chicago she says.

Then, according to the complaint: "Soon after Rita Wilcox was terminated as a contract employee for Allstate and moved from Chicago, Robert Wilcox committed suicide from the mistreatment he suffered from Allstate. When plaintiff was notified of this by police, she left Texas and upon arriving at the corporate apartment provided for Robert, was advised that someone from Allstate had already entered Robert Wilcox's room, while still he was still hanging, and confiscated the company-issued laptop computer before even his remaining family, including plaintiff, could arrive and go through his person[al] affects."

She seeks damages for civil rights violations, retaliation and emotional distress.

She is represented by Robert Fogel.

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