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Justices: Voluntary associations must comply with Wage Payment Statute

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The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday ordered more proceedings on a fired union employee’s complaint seeking payment for unused vacation time. The justices held that she is entitled to accrue vacation pay unless there was an arrangement or policy to the contrary, which is in dispute in this case.

In Commissioner of Labor on the Relation of Stephen R. Shofstall, Edward C. Posey, and Deborah N. Posey v. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades AFL-CIO, CLC District Council 91, 49S02-1205-PL-269, Deborah Posey, a clerical employee and voluntary member of CLC District Council 91, her husband Edward Posey and Stephen Shofstall sued after they were fired when Edward Posey and Shofstall – who held elected positions in the union – lost their respective elections. Edward Posey was the union business manager/secretary-treasurer and Shofstall was a union business representative.

The union declined to pay the three for any unused vacation time according to its bylaws. The trial court granted summary judgment for the union on the issue; the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed.

The Supreme Court affirmed with respect to Edward Posey and Shofstall, holding that under the union’s bylaws, it had an arrangement or policy preventing the disbursement of accrued but unused vacation pay to officers. The two had argued they were employees under the state’s Wage Payment Statute.

But the justices decided there was a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Deborah Posey, as an employee, was entitled to her unused vacation pay. They held that a voluntary association, in the absence of an “arrangement or policy” on vacation pay with respect to employees, must comply with Indiana law and the Wage Payment Statute.

“[N]either the Union’s constitution nor its bylaws define the compensation of Union employees like Deborah. It is undisputed that the Union did not have a written vacation policy for employees during the period that Deborah worked there. Thus, to defeat her claim for accrued vacation under the Wage Payment Statute, the Union must show it had an ‘arrangement or policy’ that limited employees’ right to accrued vacation. We find the Union did not make a sufficient showing to preclude Deborah’s claim,” Justice Mark Massa wrote.

Her suit goes back to the trial court for more proceedings.
 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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