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COA reduces $125k judgment against company to $200 in fines

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Finding that a liability administrative law judge erred in determining that a company that previously operated a call center in Fishers owed more than $125,000 in unemployment insurance contributions, interest and penalties for a year when the company had no Indiana employees, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed.

In TPUSA, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, 93A02-1207-EX-605, TPUSA Inc. appealed the $125,666.33 judgment levied against it by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and upheld by the LALJ in 2012 concerning unemployment insurance contributions for the 2010 calendar year. Prior to 2010, TPUSA, owned by a Florida company, had a call center in Fishers, but beginning in October 2009 the facility was closed and no longer had anyone employed in Indiana. TPUSA submitted its 2009 fourth-quarter wage report to the DWD showing no employees and no paid wages, but it did not mark the report final. It did not file any quarterly payroll reports with the department for 2010.

In 2011, the DWD went after TPUSA for overdue unemployment insurance contributions for 2010. TPUSA did not initially respond to notices sent to it by DWD, and the DWD estimated that the company’s overdue contributions, plus interest and penalties, totaled more than $125,000. TPUSA later appealed, but the LALJ affirmed the amount.

The Court of Appeals found the DWD acted properly under the Indiana Unemployment Compensation Act because it was unaware that TPUSA ceased operations in Indiana. TPUSA did not mark its last quarter report in 2009 as “final report” and did not notify the DWD it no longer operated in the state. Thus, DWD expected to continue to receive quarterly contribution and wage reports from the company for 2010.

The statute does allow for a reduction of the estimated amount of contribution if the employer makes a showing of “reasonable cause” for failure to timely file the reports.

“We hold that where an employer has ceased business operations in Indiana, no longer pays wages or has any employees in the state, and files accurate reports with the Department indicating such, this may be considered ‘reasonable cause,’ as required by Indiana Code section 22-4-11-4(b), so as to allow for an adjustment (i.e., reduction) in the amount of the estimated contribution,” Senior Judge Betty Barteau wrote.

Instead, the judges found that a $25 fine assessed under I.C. 22-4-19-10 against any company that negligently or willfully fails to submit any report required under the Act to be proper. Because two reports are required to be filed each quarter, TPUSA owes $200.

 

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  1. Welcome to Hendricks County where local and state statutes (especially Indiana Class C misdemeanors) are given a higher consideration than Federal statues and active duty military call-ups.

  2. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  3. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  4. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  5. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

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