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A former Cole County EMS employee has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the county.

Mariah Remington filed the suit Tuesday in Cole County Circuit Court.

Remington states in the suit that in June 2018 she was diagnosed with a genetic heart condition and that EMS Chief Matt Lindewirth and command staff were aware of this. Remington claims in February she asked Lindewirth to be provided with resources to assist her in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and post-acute stress reaction brought on by her condition. Instead, Remington's lawsuit claims, Lindewirth placed Remington on a leave of absence, which eventually became unpaid leave after she exhausted her accrued sick time.

When Remington eventually was cleared to return to work, she claims, she was put on 12-hour shifts when she had been asked to be put on 48-hour shifts, which led to her losing out on overtime opportunities.

Remington further claims that when she filed a discrimination charge with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, she was subjected to retaliation by the chief, who allegedly made the workplace hostile. She claims Lindewirth allowed a male EMS employee of a equal rank to return to 48-hour duties after he had been cleared to return to duty.

Eventually Remington was discharged from the service in March. Her lawsuit claims her gender was the motivating factor in the county's decision to take adverse employment actions against her.

"Cole County EMS did not discriminate against her (Remington) in any way," said Cole County Attorney Jill LaHue. "Her dismissal had nothing to do with her gender. Remington never alleged any discrimination to Cole County EMS."

Remington is asking for the court to award her back-pay as well as damages that would cover her medical or other expenses incurred as a result of her loss of these benefits.

Cole County Presiding Judge Pat Joyce has been assigned the case. No court date has been set.

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