A Carpentersville man is suing Clearbrook, a nonprofit agency that serves developmentally disabled people, arguing he was fired in retaliation for questioning what he says is the facility's practice of disregarding training and state requirements.
Darren Buchanan seeks unspecified damages and lost wages after his termination in March from the Mozart House in Arlington Heights, according to a lawsuit filed in Kane County.
Gloria Drake, Clearbrook's vice president of communications, said the organization had no comment on the case.
In the suit, Buchanan argues he did not receive 120 hours of state mandated training and his supervisor merely initialed part of Buchanan's training work sheets, called a core competency checklist, because "nobody would find out, and this is how it was always done."
"Plaintiff upset the apple cart," Buchanan's attorney Andrew Kolb, who could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday, wrote in the lawsuit. "Specifically, plaintiff questioned and scrutinized (Clearbrook's) long-standing practice of completely disregarding the on-the-job training and supervisory requirements promulgated by the Illinois Department of Human Service with respect to health care workers assisting disabled persons."
The suit argues that Buchanan, who worked as a Direct Support Person at the Arlington Heights facility from December 2013 to March 2014, was instructed to care for patients without any training or assistance from a qualified supervisor. It also claims he was asked to train new hires, and ultimately fired after he repeatedly complained to his supervisor he was not provided mandated state training. The suit also says he worried about being held personally liable if he gave someone the wrong medication or dosage.
Clearbrook primarily uses state funds to serve some 6,000 developmentally disabled people, the suit states.
The suit also argued that after Buchanan was discharged, his former supervisor asked him via email to complete the core competency checklist so Clearbrook could seek state reimbursement for training that Buchanan never received.
Buchanan refused to "fraudulently complete" the work sheet and, as a result, was kept off the state Healthcare Worker Registry so he can't apply for a job as a certified Direct Support Person, the suit argues.
Both sides are due in Kane County court Oct. 23.