A former Wachovia employee recently filed suit against the Charlotte-based bank, claiming she was unfairly fired after developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following multiple bank robberies.
In the suit, filed in Wake County Superior Court, Reshaunda Mayberry alleges she witnessed five armed robberies during the 15 years she worked for Wells Fargo/Wachovia. She claims she avoided mental trauma in the wake of the first four robberies, but the fifth left her in a mentally vulnerable state.
According to the lawsuit, the fifth robbery was perpetrated by “a regular non-customer to the bank.” He did not have an account with the bank, but would frequently come in to cash his paychecks. She claims that robbery left her feeling especially vulnerable due to the familiarity with the assailant.
Less than a year after the fifth robbery, the suit states that she helplessly watched her supervisor being physically assaulted by a patron in her branch, at 3400 Spring Forest Road.
The complaint says after witnessing the assault she had “impaired ability to focus, sleep disturbances, panic attacks and an impaired ability to complete tasks in a work environment.”
Mayberry’s symptoms resulted in a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
The Spring Forest Road branch is labeled as “high risk,” according to the suit. The branch is located in a low-income neighborhood and near major highways, making it a prime target for robberies, Mayberry aledges in the lawsuit.
The filing states that after Mayberry received her diagnosis, she applied for short-term disability. When she asked for her manager’s signature her manager said, “With you, if it’s not one thing it’s another.”
Mayberry was fired the next day.
Wachovia alleges her termination stemmed from negative performance reviews in April, May and June of 2009.
Mayberry’s attorney, Evett Brown, had no comment about the suit.
Wachovia/Wells Fargo was also unwilling to make a comment about the ongoing litigation.
Josh Dunn, corporate communications manager for Wachovia/Wells Fargo, said the bank cares for employees affected by robbery.
“We do offer support, including counseling services, to team members if there are incidents at their stores,” he said. “We also work closely with law enforcement officials as they conduct any investigation.”