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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. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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