Former assistant manager Brandon Linn files lawsuit against town of Landis over vacation payout – Reuters

LANDIS – Former deputy city manager Brandon Linn has filed a lawsuit against the city of Landis seeking payment of accrued vacation pay he said was not granted with his departure in January 2020.

Linn was hired by the Landis Police Department in September 2007 and transferred to code enforcement and land management duties in January 2018. Later that year he was promoted to deputy city manager and led the city’s planning needs before stepping down in January 2020.

Linn filed a civil action against the city on January 18 and is represented by David Shelby of Shelby, Pethel & Hudson in Salisbury. Shelby did not return a request for comment at the time of publication.

The city of Landis also did not return a request for comment or respond to a question about who is representing the city in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says Linn accrued 1,563 hours of annual leave but was not paid in full when he left. The lawsuit says that at the time, city policy was that vacation days accrued based on years of service with the city, capped at 250 hours. Linn’s complaint says “standard practice” for the city was full payout, although staff policy limits payout to only twice accrued annual leave.

“The payment of an employee’s full bank of vacation hours was done with such regularity that it was considered the usual and ordinary practice of the city,” the suit states.

About a week after his resignation, the Landis Board of Aldermen met behind closed doors on January 20 to approve a personnel policy drafted in 2013 but never approved. The policy required the city to only pay a separate employee for 30 days of accrued vacation.

The current personnel policy posted on the city’s website states the same, provided two weeks’ notice is given before resignation. Four weeks notice is required for department heads. The policy also states that failure to give notice voids this payment unless the manager deems it in the best interest of the city. For those who separate involuntarily, they are not paid more than twice the annual accrual rate at the manager’s discretion, unless that person is involved in serious personal or criminal conduct violations.

With the new personnel policy enacted after Linn was hired, the lawsuit states that the city’s non-payment of vacation time he accrued “amounts to a breach of contract.”

Linn is seeking pay for 1,563 vacation hours plus interest dating back to his resignation date, damages in excess of $25,000 and attorneys’ fees. Linn’s final pay stub, which was filed with the lawsuit, showed he received $3,551.83 on his last paycheck, at a rate of $21.63 an hour.

Linn lost his bid for re-election to the China Grove City Council in the 2021 municipal elections in November after serving three terms.

Attempts to reach Linn on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

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