Man sues union for breach of agreement

CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing United Food & Commercial Workers Union-Local 400 after he claims it breached its severance agreement with him.

On Sept. 30, 2010, Jeffrey R. Seaman was called into the defendants’ Charleston office and was informed his employment was not working out and he was given a severance agreement by Thomas McNutt to review and sign, according to a complaint filed Sept. 19 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Seaman claims on Oct. 20, 2010, he signed the severance agreement and provided it to the defendant.

The severance agreement provided that Seaman would continue to receive his salary through Dec. 31, 2010, payable on Oct. 29, 2010, and that he would receive a $25,000 automobile allowance minus appropriate and required withholdings payable on Oct. 29, 2010, according to the suit.

Seaman claims he signed the severance agreement with the specific understanding that he would receive the promised compensations and would not have signed the severance agreement otherwise.

The severance agreement stated that Seaman would receive the full value of his salary through Dec. 31, 2010, on Oct. 29, 2010, however, he received his salary paid via weekly payroll check until Nov. 5, 2010, according to the suit, and the defendant violated the severance agreement by paying Seaman on a weekly basis instead of paying his salary in full on Oct. 29, 2010.

Seaman claims he did not receive any salary checks after Nov. 5, 2010.

The defendant failed to respond to Seaman when he requested the status of his salary checks or the reason for their absence, according to the suit.

Seaman claims the defendant’s failure to pay his salary violates the severance agreement and he has yet to receive the $25,000 automobile allowance minus appropriate and required withholdings.

The defendant’s actions violate West Virginia code and have caused Seaman damages, according to the suit.

Seaman is seeking judgment in the amount equal to loss of all wages with interest, judgment against the defendant for an amount equal to loss of all accrued vacation pay with interest, liquidated damages and the $25,000 automobile allowance promised under the agreement. He is being represented by G. Patrick Jacobs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1904

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