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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jul. 11, 201912:07 PM EST

Former employee sues CSX for breach of contract

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Lawsuit says company withheld 75% of an annual performance bonus.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

A former employee has filed a lawsuit against CSX Transportation Inc. for breach of contract, alleging that the railroad withheld most of her annual performance bonus because she was leaving the company.

According to a complaint filed in circuit court in Jacksonville, Kristen Langley, former manager of commercial finance performance analysis, received only $8,747 of a $34,998 bonus she should have been paid.

Cindy Schild, spokeswoman for CSX, said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Langley participated in the CSX Management Incentive Compensation Plan.

The plan “links employee compensation to both company and individual performance by providing incentive pay to management employees who drive positive financial and operational results and create shareholder value,” states a CSX bonus plan document filed with the lawsuit.

The complaint contends that Langley consistently received positive performance reviews during her employment and in addition was promoted at the end of 2017.

In September, Langley informed CSX that she was leaving Jacksonville to pursue other opportunities. The lawsuit states that CSX representatives asked Langley to stay until the end of the calendar year, which she agreed to do on the condition that she would be eligible for her full annual bonus.

In December, directors in Langley’s department met to determine individual performance ratings for employees subject to the bonus plan.

At that meeting, Langley’s former director attempted to lower Langley’s rating on the basis she had decided to leave the company. Her director at the time disagreed on the basis that Langley’s performance history warranted the full bonus; the committee then agreed Langley should be paid the full bonus.

The complaint states that despite the committee’s decision, CSX Transportation reduced Langley’s performance rating so that she would not receive the full bonus amount.

The lawsuit asks the court to award Langley damages in the amount of the owed but unpaid performance bonus, interest on the unpaid balance, attorney fees and costs.

Langley is represented by the Delegal and Poidexter law firm. The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Waddell Wallace III.

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