Former Assistant Manager Brandon Linn files lawsuit against town of Landis for vacation time payout

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, March 23, 2022

LANDIS — Former Assistant Town Manager Brandon Linn has filed a lawsuit against the town of Landis requesting a payout of accrued vacation pay he said he wasn’t granted with his departure in January 2020.

Linn was hired with the Landis Police Department in September 2007 and was transferred to code enforcement and land management duties in January 2018. Later that year, he was promoted to assistant town manager and had been leading the town’s planning needs before he resigned in January 2020.

Linn filed a civil suit against the town on Jan. 18 and is represented by David Shelby of the Shelby, Pethel & Hudson firm in Salisbury. Shelby did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.

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

The suit states that Linn accrued 1,563 hours of vacation leave but was not paid in full at the time of his departure. The lawsuit states that at the time, the town’s policy was that vacation days accumulated based on the number of years of service to the town, with a cap at 250 hours. Linn’s complaint states that the “common practice” for the town was a full payout though the personnel policy limited the payout to only two times the annual accrued vacation leave.

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

About a week after his resignation, the Landis Board of Aldermen met in a closed session on Jan. 20 to approve a personnel policy drafted in 2013 but never approved. The policy mandated the town to only pay a separated employee for 30 days of accrued vacation time.

The current personnel policy posted on the town’s website states the same, provided that a two-week notice is given prior to resignation. A four-week notice is required for department heads. The policy also states that failure to give notice waives that payout unless the manager deems it in the best interest of the town. For those who involuntarily separate, they’re paid no more than twice the annual accrual rate at the manager’s discretion, unless that person is involved in serious violations of personal or criminal conduct.

With the new personnel policy adopted after Linn’s employment, the lawsuit states the town’s failure to pay for the vacation he accrued “amounts to a breach of contract.”

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

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

Attempts to reach Linn on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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