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Court orders more proceedings on laborer’s pay

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The Boone Superior Court will need to take another look at a man’s lawsuit against R.L. Turner Corporation that claimed he was underpaid by the company for labor he provided on two public works projects, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

In William Wressell v. R.L. Turner Corporation, 06A01-1301-PL-5, William Wressell claimed that while he was paid properly for work he performed as a classified skilled cement mason under the Common Construction Wage Act, he actually performed other tasks as a skilled carpenter or skilled laborer and should have received a higher wage and higher fringe benefits for that work.

Wressell worked for RLTC for nearly a year on two projects – one at Purdue University and one at Indiana University. He filed his lawsuit alleging underpayment after receiving authorization from the Office of the Indiana Attorney General to pursue his claims in court.
 
RLTC and Wressell both moved for summary judgment. The Boone Superior Court ruled in favor of RLTC.

At issue in the appeal is the trial court’s striking of certain portions of an affidavit from Monte Moorhead, a field auditor with the Indiana Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. The affidavit included statements about how fringe benefits are classified and that employer expenses that are part of its regular overhead costs of doing business or are for the primary benefit of the employer are not treated by the IDOL as employee fringe benefits. The trial court concluded that paragraphs 12-18 on the fringe benefits were irrelevant and legal conclusions.

But the Court of Appeals disagreed, finding the paragraphs in question to be “unquestionably relevant,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote. “Whether IDOL considers a certain type of payment to be a fringe benefit strikes us as evidence that would be quite helpful to the factfinder in characterizing that payment, and therefore relevant.”

The judges also held that Moorhead’s averments regarding IDOL policy and whether it treats certain types of payments as fringe benefits do not constitute legal conclusions.

There are genuine issues of material fact regarding Wressell’s job classification on the jobs and whether Wressell was sufficiently paid for fringe benefits, the judges held, so they remanded for further proceedings. The COA judges also denied RLTC’s request for appellate attorney fees.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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