Former Tri-State Fire Protection District Division Chief David Basek filed suit in U.S. District Court this month, claiming he was wrongfully relieved of his position with the Burr Ridge area district nearly a year ago.
Basek, who worked for the fire district from 1986 until 2012, names the district, its board of trustees, its board of commissioners, and Fire Chief Michelle Gibson as defendants in the suit.
Basek claims he was fired from his post as division chief in retaliation for taking family medical leave and for collecting workers’ compensation after treatment for a heart condition and a subsequent injury.
In June 2011, Basek sought treatment for a heart condition. That treatment required him to take a medical leave of absence for the remainder of 2011. In November 2011, Basek filed a claim to collect workers compensation benefits, claiming his condition was the result of his service as division chief. The suit claims that upon returning to work in 2012, Basek was harassed regarding his heart condition and his workers’ compensation claim.
In May 2012, Basek suffered an injury outside of the workplace and began a two-month leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. The lawsuit claims that upon his return from medical leave, Basek was made to work at a desk against a wall, which is typically reserved for part-time employees. Around this same time, Basek discovered he had been removed from the district’s website and was no longer identified as division chief, as he had been prior to his leave. Chief Gibson allegedly said that as part of an unspecified investigation and alleged rules violations, she was discharging Basek from his job as division chief and offered him a lesser position as career service lieutenant.
The suit, filed by attorney M. Megan O’Malley, alleges the actions of the defendants violated federal and state law and have caused Basek to suffer financial and emotional damage. The suit seeks reinstatement of Basek’s position as division chief, along with lost wages and benefits, compensation for lost pension, as well as compensation for nonpecuniary damages caused by his dismissal.