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

Station co-owner Cheri Crook 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.

Station owner TCAT Corporation 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.