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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

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  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

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