CHICAGO (CBS) — He was injured on the job – chasing an escaped prisoner at Loyola University Medical Center, where he worked as a security officer.
Now, John Schildgen said he was fired because of his injury.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey is digging into the man’s case and why he said the hospital’s policy need to change.
He said he was protecting the hospital and the community when he got hurt. But Loyola University Medical Center said it followed policy when the hospital fired him at the end of his medical leave.
He was, at one point, the face of hospital campus security.
Schildgen was working as a security officer at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood December 2016 when he got a call that a prisoner patient in the custody of Elmwood Park Police had escaped from the ER.
“We didn’t hesitate because we knew what it was. So we began to run and we were a couple buildings away,” said Schildgen.
He caught up with the prisoner on foot and took him into custody. But during the pursuit, he severely injured his foot.
That left him with a limp.
Several surgeries and 10 months of medical leave later and his doctors said he still couldn’t return to his officer job. Schildgen said he requested a light duty job that would have allowed him to work at a desk. But instead he got a call from Loyola that said his time on leave was up.
And according to policy, he was let go.
“Basically they discriminated against me because of my disability for doing my job,” Schildgen said. “It was the safety of the doctors, the nurses, the public, the visitors, you know. That’s my job. I didn’t think I was going to get injured in the process.”
Loyola’s policy is “six months unless there are mitigating circumstances.”
Schildgen said he hopes Loyola’s policy will change. He also believes he was fired in retaliation for filing complaints. Now he’s taking his concerns to the Illinois Department of Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
A spokesperson for Loyola told CBS 2 he could not comment saying that as a policy, they do not provide information about employee relations or individual employees.
Schildgen had worked for Loyola for four years before he was fired.