HUNTINGTON -- A former employee of Cabell Huntington Hospital is suing the hospital both individually and on the behalf of all others similarly situated over benefits and severance.

Jana Studeny was laid off Jan. 6 from the hospital, where she had worked for 26 years, according to a complaint filed in Cabell County Circuit Court Oct. 9.

Studeny claims that she and the others who were laid off were promised a severance packed that would include all "accrued benefits" but later they were denied compensation for accrued sick leave benefits, according to the suit.

Cabell Huntington Hospital maintains a paid sick leave administrative policy which states, "Accrual of sick leave benefits: Regular full-time employees after completion of 90 days employment shall be entitled to paid sick leave earned at the rate of 3.69 hours per pay period retroactive to the most recent date of hire up to a maximum of 96 hours per year. An employee shall be entitled to accumulate up to a maximum of 1,280 hours of sick leave."

As of Jan. 6, Student claims she had 528.04 hours of accrued sick time benefits.

When Studeny received her first salary continuation check on Jan. 30, the earning statement indicated a balance of 528.04 sick time hours, but this was not included in the salary check, according to the suit.

Studeny claims when she contacted the hospital and requested payment for the balance, she was allegedly informed that accrued sick leave would not be paid when employment was terminated.

She is suing on the grounds of violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act, three counts of declaratory judgment, breach of contract and class action allegations.

She is suing for damages as may be provided by West Virginia law. She is being represented by Paul T. Farrell Jr. of Greene, Ketchum, Bailey, Walker, Farrell and Tweel.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 09-C-820

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