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Court: Gas station employee firing violated labor laws

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An appellate court says an owner of a Lone Rock gas station improperly fired a clerk after she threatened to ask a prosecutor to investigate paycheck deductions.

Cheri Crook, an owner of the station, fired Esther Lee Peterson in 2012 after Peterson left her a note saying she would talk to a district attorney about nearly $90 deducted from her check to cover drive-offs.

State labor officials found the firing violated the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, which protects workers from being fired in retaliation for filing a complaint.

TCAT Corporation, an owner of the station, argued Peterson’s note didn’t provide notice that she intended to enforce her rights. The 4th District Court of Appeals rejected those arguments Thursday, ruling the note was sufficient to trigger the employment act.

TCAT’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a message.

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