Justices dissent on denying transfer in wage payment case

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Two Indiana Supreme Court justices disagreed with their colleagues about not taking a case on the state’s wage payment statute, issuing a dissent that described how they believe the justices should clear up perceived uncertainty about whether the law can be applied to certain claims before the Indiana Department of Labor.

Justice Frank Sullivan wrote a four-page dissent in the case of Anna Quimby v. Becovic Management Group Inc., No. 49A05-0912-CV-747, which the Court of Appeals decided March 8, 2011. Justice Robert Rucker joined Sullivan in wanting to accept the case, but Chief Justice Randall Shepard and Justices Brent Dickson and Steven David concurred in denying transfer.

Anna Quimby appealed the dismissal of her wage claim against Becovic Management Group in May 2008. She wrote in her application for the wage claim that the company owed her $787.31 for vacation and hours worked, and that she was assigning all her rights to the labor commissioner pursuant to Indiana Code 22-2-9-5. The DOL investigated and determined she should receive $590.39, and Quimby in 2009 brought an action in Marion Superior Court under the state’s wage payment statute, Indiana Code 22-2-2. Superior Judge Theodore Sosin dismissed her action.

In its ruling last year, the Court of Appeals held that because Quimby had assigned her wage claim to the Department of Labor where it was eventually resolved, she could not bring the action in court, and the trial judge was correct in dismissing her claim. The appellate panel refused to hold an employee is able to bring a claim before the DOL and then later bring the same claim in court if the employee is dissatisfied with the administrative result.

Arguing for transfer, Quimby said that she could not have assigned her claim to the DOL because the state agency is only authorized by state statute to take assignment claims under the Wage Claims Statute, not the Wage Payment Statute that her claim involved.

Sullivan said the statutes and administrative procedures aren’t clear about assigning these types of claims. He wrote that the plain language of I.C. 22-2-9-5 suggests the DOL may take by assignment claims like Quimby’s, or that it’s not prohibited from doing so, but that the Wage Claims Statute suggests that assignment may be limited to only those claims.

“There are likely many other claimants in Quimby’s position – claimants that do not have to but nevertheless seek the DOL’s assistance with their wage disputes,” Sullivan wrote. “Because the Court has decided not to grant transfer, I urge the DOL to examine this question and if it agrees with the Court of Appeals that in such circumstances it takes these claims by assignment, to revise its documents to make that clear to both the employee and employer, or if it concludes contrary to the decision of the Court of Appeals that it does not take these claims by assignment, to revise its form to remove this language.”



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. So men who think they are girls at heart can use the lady's potty? Usually the longer line is for the women's loo, so, the ladies may be the ones to experience temporary gender dysphoria, who knows? Is it ok to joke about his or is that hate? I may need a brainwash too, hey! I may just object to my own comment, later, if I get myself properly "oriented"

  2. Heritage, what Heritage? The New Age is dawning .... an experiment in disordered liberty and social fragmentation is upon us .... "Carmel City Council approved a human rights ordinance with a 4-3 vote Monday night after hearing about two hours of divided public testimony. The ordinance bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, among other traits. Council members Rick Sharp, Carol Schleif, Sue Finkam and Ron Carter voted in favor of it. The three council members opposing it—Luci Snyder, Kevin Rider and Eric Seidensticker—all said they were against any form of discrimination, but had issues with the wording and possible unintended consequences of the proposal." Kardashian is the new Black.

  3. Can anyone please tell me if anyone is appealing the law that certain sex offenders can't be on school property. How is somebody supposed to watch their children's sports games or graduations, this law needs revised such as sex offenders that are on school property must have another non-offender adult with them at all times while on school property. That they must go to the event and then leave directly afterwards. This is only going to hurt the children of the offenders and the father/ son mother/ daughter vice versa relationship. Please email me and let me know if there is a group that is appealing this for reasons other than voting and religion. Thank you.

  4. Should any attorney who argues against the abortion industry, or presents arguments based upon the Founders' concept of Higher Law, (like that marriage precedes the State) have to check in with the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program for a mandatory mental health review? Some think so ... that could certainly cut down on cases such as this "cluttering up" the SCOTUS docket ... use JLAP to deny all uber conservative attorneys licenses and uber conservative representation will tank. If the ends justify the means, why not?

  5. Tell them sherry Mckay told you to call, they're trying to get all the people that have been wronged and held unlawfully to sign up on this class action lawsuit.