Former Regions Bank employee sues over unpaid vacation days, expenses

Kelly Holleran Dec. 29, 2008, 9:00am

A Madison County man has filed suit against Regions Bank, alleging he did not receive vacation pay or pay for work he performed after he quit his job.

Terry Gibbs claims he worked for the bank from October 2001 through March, according to a complaint filed Dec. 19 in Madison County Circuit Court.

In exchange for six months of temporary housing and a one-time payment of $5,000, Gibbs agreed to transfer to Iowa, which he did in March, the suit states.

Later, Gibbs gave his resignation to Regions Bank on Aug. 27, and it was accepted with an effective date of Sept. 15, Gibbs claims.

As of Sept. 15, Gibbs was entitled to at least seven days of vacation pay and had advanced reimbursable expenses of $10,080.64, which the bank did not pay, according to the complaint.

The bank also did not pay Gibbs the $5,000 for his move to Iowa or his wages for Sept. 10 through Sept. 12 or Sept. 15, the suit states.

Gibbs has made additional efforts to obtain his advanced reimbursement through e-mails, but still has received no money, he claims.

However, Regions Bank admitted it owes Gibbs one day of pay, seven days of vacation and an unspecified amount of advanced expenses, according to the complaint.

In addition, a Regions Bank agent named Eric Deihl told a manager of the condominium Regions Bank leased for Gibbs that Gibbs was leaving because his active duty military son had an accident that required him to return to St. Louis, the suit states.

When the manager approached Gibbs with the news, he could not verify whether or not his son was alive, he claims.

Eventually, he found out his son was alive and well, but not before suffering severe and extreme emotional distress including increased heart rate, chest pressure, stomach cramps, severe panic, grief and terror, according to the complaint.

"On information and belief, Regions Bank made the statement to the effect that Terry Gibbs' son was killed or severely injured in order to avoid liability on the lease of the premises vacated by Mr. Gibbs," the suit states.

Because of his lost wages, Gibbs suffered mental and emotional anguish, suffering and distress, according to the complaint.

Regions Bank violated Iowa code by failing to submit a written justification of its refusal for Gibbs's requested payments within 30 days of his written requests and by failing to reimburse Gibbs in advance of his expenses, according to the complaint.

It also violated the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law by failing to pay Gibbs the $5,000 associated with his transfer and exerted wrongful control over Gibbs's wages by withholding his wages, the suit states.

In the four-count suit, Gibbs is seeking a judgment in excess of $50,000 for damages including his actual financial loss, mental anguish and distress, emotional distress, statutory damages, liquidated damages and punitive damages, plus attorney's fees, costs, pre-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Kenneth J. Brennan of The Kenneth Brennan Firm in Collinsville will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-1204.

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