By KYLA ASBURY
CHARLESTON – A man is suing Bayer Cropscience LP for violated the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.
Steve Hedrick, vice president of Bayer's Industrial Park facility, was also named as a defendant in the suit.
In early 2011, Bayer announced that it would be closing several manufacturing units dedicated to carbamate chemistries at its Institute facility and that it would cease all production, storage, consumption and use of methyl isocyanate within two years, according to a complaint filed April 28 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
Nicholas Hall claims in 2012, Bayer announced it would phase out the production of MIC, leading to the loss of 220 jobs and, in a July 9, 2012, press release, Bayer announced the voluntary lay-off incentive program being offered to affected employees.
Hall claims despite Hedrick's statements that the employment reduction would be approached in an "equitable and sensitive manner" it began a course of action that resulted in the disparate treatment of several of its employees.
Bayer promised to pay Hall $25,000 for voluntarily resigning his employment if he stayed until at least July 30, 2012, and on July 5, 2012, Hall volunteered for the layoff.
Hall claims he was scheduled to begin with his new employer on July 9, 2012, although he had sufficient vacation and/or leave time to run his time with Bayer through July 30, 2012, thereby qualifying him for the severance package and $25,000 payment.
The defendants then began colluding on a systematic, deceptive practice designed solely to rob Hall and many of his co-workers out of benefits which they were rightfully entitled to and which was set forth in clear detail in Hedrick's June 27, 2012, letter.
Hedrick advised Hall that he could not simultaneously work for Dow and Bayer at the same time, according to the suit. Hall was previously never advised he could not take vacation time as a Bayer employee while working as a Dow employee at the same time.
Hall claims after raising the unfairness of this determination, he was advised that Bayer's decision was final and that even though he had sufficient tenure as to be deemed a Bayer "employee" through July 30, 2012, he would not be paid the $25,000.
Despite having let several of his co-workers depart before July 29, 2012, and paying them the $25,000, the defendants ultimately refused to pay Hall his allowance, according to the suit.
Hall claims the defendants violated the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.
Hall is seeking compensatory and liquidated damages. He is being represented by David M. Adkins of the Adkins Law Firm PLLC.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-812