CHARLESTON – A former Kmart employee is seeking more than $90,000 after he says the company failed to pay him vacation and personal day money after it terminated him.

Joshua E. Lasure originally filed a complaint May 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Sears Holdings Company, doing business as Kmart.

The case was moved to federal court on June 15, where Kmart claims the suit should be dismissed, in part because Lasure incorrectly identified the company as Sears Holding Company, when he was in fact employed by Kmart Corporation.

In his complaint, Lasure says he worked as a manager at the Elkview Kmart until he was terminated on March 18.

At the time of his termination, Lasure was owed a performance bonus for 2008 of $18,940, plus $4,076.52 for 13 vacation and five personal days that he had not used, according to the complaint.

Despite knowledge of its obligation to pay Lasure, Kmart refused to do so within 72 hours of his termination, the suit states.

"Kmart's failure to pay Lasure within 72 hours of his termination entitles Lasure to liquidated damages in the amount of three times the unpaid compensation and benefits, plus the original unpaid amounts, which total $92,066.08," the complaint says.

Kmart denies Lasure's allegations against it, and contends Lasure was not entitled to a performance bonus or payments for vacation and personal days.

Lasure is seeking compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

Kmart is asking the court to dismiss Lasure's complaint with prejudice, plus award it costs and other relief the court deems just.
Kmart removed the case to federal court because Lasure is seeking more than $75,000.

Jeffrey V. Mehalic of the Law Offices of Jeffrey V. Mehalic in Charleston will be representing Lasure.

Kevin A. Nelson and Ashley W. French of Huddleston Bolen in Charleston will be representing Kmart.

U.S. District Court case number: 2:09-674




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