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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. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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