ILNews

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.”

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

  2. My situation was hopeless me and my husband was on the verge of divorce. I was in a awful state and felt that I was not able to cope with life any longer. I found out about this great spell caster drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com and tried him. Well, he did return and now we are doing well again, more than ever before. Thank you so much Drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.comi will forever be grateful to you Drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com

  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  4. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  5. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

ADVERTISEMENT