Tuck files suit against VAC

PARKERSBURG – Wendy Tuck, former executive director of the Volunteer Action Center in Parkersburg, filed a lawsuit against the organization, alleging it did not pay her wages due in a timely manner when she left in July 2011.

In the suit Tuck named the Volunteer Action Center and Adam Kennedy, the treasurer of the center’s board of directors, as defendants.

According to the suit filed in Wood County Circuit Court, at the time of her resignation, Tuck had accrued 122.35 hours of unused paid time off. On July 29 the Volunteer Action Center paid her for 80.14 hours, but failed to pay the remaining time within the time limit imposed by state law, the lawsuit states.

Under state law “whenever an employee quits or resigns, the person, firm or corporation shall pay the employee’s wages no later than the next regular payday, either through the regular pay channels or by mail if requested by the employee, except that if the employee gives at least one pay period’s notice of intention to quit the person, firm or corporation shall pay all wages earned by the employee at the time of quitting.”

Tuck was paid $683.95 for the remaining time on Nov. 16, 2011. In addition, Tuck asked for money that was to be paid to her retirement account be paid to her.

According to the suit, Tuck’s 403(b) retirement account received deposits equal to 12 percent of her base salary as an employer contribution. The 403(b) is a tax deferred retirement plan available to employees of educational institutions and certain nonprofit organizations as determined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Tuck received a pay raise on Jan. 1, 2008 from $32,000 to $33,600. Tuck allowed the center to make the payments based on her former pay rate.

In her resignation letter, which was included in the filing as an attachment, Tuck states in “2008 the VAC was having trouble making payments, and I agreed to defer the raise in my 403(b) payments, with the understanding that it would be corrected when the financial situation improved. I requested that the corrected amount be deposited into my 403(b).”

Tuck contacted the center four times between July 30 and Oct. 31, 2011 and contacted Kennedy twice by emails, the suit states.

“Defendant Adam Kennedy knowingly permitted defendant Volunteer Action Center to violate West Virginia Code 21-5-4(c) by failing to pay the plaintiff her contributions in a timely fashion,” the suit states.

Tuck was paid the $2,304.96 due her on Nov. 16. 2011.

“As a result, the plaintiff is entitled to liquidated damages in an amount equal to three time the untimely paid wages,” the suit states. “Wherefore, the plaintiff demands against the defendants such damages as are available under the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act, including liquidated damages and her attorney fees and costs, a trial by jury; and such other and further relief as may be appropriate.”