Doctor sues Livewell Wellness Centers claiming retaliatory discharge

Kelly Holleran Jun. 28, 2012, 6:15am


A doctor who claims she lost her job after reporting that no taxes were being withheld from her paycheck has filed suit against her former employer.

Kimberly Sachs claims she began working for defendant Komeshak Chiropractic doing business as Livewell Wellness Centers in April 2009. During her employment, Sachs received "mostly good or excellent ratings," according to the complaint filed June 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Despite her exceptional reviews, on Jan. 13, Sachs lost her job after she began inquiring about tax information, the suit states.

Sachs claims she began her inquires following questionable behavior by Livewell. For instance, in June 2011, the chiropractor started instructing her not to cash her paychecks immediately as they would not clear the bank, the complaint says. At other times, Sachs claims her checks would be held for an extended period of time.

Sachs talked with other employees about her issues and realized they were having the same problems, according to the complaint. During her conversations, Sachs learned that some employees' checks had bounced, the suit states.

On Nov. 7, 2011, Sachs met with Dr. Pat Komeshak, who was president of the company, and Darren Cross, who was the business's director of operations, to discuss her concerns, the complaint says. However, during her meeting, Sachs claims she was told not to discuss pay issues with other employees.

On Jan. 6, Sachs claims she noticed IRS officials in the building. Concerned, Sachs called the Illinois Department of Employment Security to inquire about whether she would be eligible for unemployment benefits if she resigned from her position due to late payments, according to the complaint. During her phone conversation, Sachs learned that she would not be authorized to receive the payments because her employer had not been withholding taxes, the suit states.

Following the phone call, Sachs called the United States Social Security Administration and discovered that her employer had not been withholding social security from her paychecks, either, the complaint says. Sachs claims Livewell also did not take out federal income taxes from her checks.

On Jan. 12, Sachs discussed her tax concerns with another employee of the company. The following day, Pat Komeshak called Sachs into his office and terminated her, according to the complaint.

"Dr. Komeshak stated the reason for termination was that the business 'is my family,'" the suit states. "Dr. Sachs was also told that everyone is loyal to him and information comes back to him."

Because of her job loss, Sachs suffered mental anguish, distress, tension and emotional pain, the complaint says.

In her two-count complaint, Sachs is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus punitive damages, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

She will be represented by Michael Gras of the Law Office of Christopher Cueto in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-310.

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