Man sues State Farm for benefits denial

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 4, 2019

CHARLESTON — A lawsuit against State Farm alleging a denial of benefits for a former employee was removed to federal court.

The lawsuit was originally filed in Kanawha Circuit Court, according to the notice of removal filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Charleston.

State Farm removed the case to federal court because of the diversity of citizenship and for federal questions.

Michael Young claimed State Farm promised to pay severance to telecommuting workers and failed to do so.

Young is requesting the court to compel State Farm to pay the severance that was promised to teleworkers under its involuntary severance payment plan for teleworkers.

Those who were not selected to continue on with State Farm's operating model were to be paid severance, the complaint states.

Young claims he remained employed with State Farm until Oct. 31, 2016, but he was not paid severance.

Young was employed at State Farm from 1993 through 2014 as an outside estimator and then from 2014 until 2016 as a teleworker, according to the suit. 

Young claimed in 2015 he questioned the decision not to allow for a snow day when all businesses and schools in the area were closed and the Charleston State Farm operation center was closed.

After Young questioned the snow day policy and went above his immediate supervisor, who stood by the supervisor's decision, he noticed his immediate supervisor began to be less satisfied with his work, according to the suit.

Young claims State Farm announced in May 2016 that it would be transitioning teleworkers into a new company model by the end of that year. Young was then given a qualifying termination date of Oct. 31, 2016.

Young is seeking to receive his severance in the amount of $45,782.78 with interest. He is representing himself.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number: 2:18-cv-01469

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