Monday, September 10, 2007

Indiana Wage Claims Statute and Paid Time Off

I think we are seeing more cases involving Wage Claims Statute, Ind. Code § 22-2-9 (2004). The latest is Reel v. Clarian Health Partners, Inc. (PDF format)

Clarian relied on its employee manual on when to pay Paid Time Off wages (PTO wages). The Court of Appeals relied on the Indiana Supreme Court's decision in Naugle v. Beech Grove City Schools, 864 N.E.2d 1058 (Ind. 2007). The Court of Appeals held that the statute controlled:

Here, the Wage Claims Statute, Ind. Code § 22-2-9-2(a), provides that “[w]henever any employer separates any employee from the pay-roll, the unpaid wages or compensation of such employee shall become due and payable at regular pay day for pay period in which separation occurred[.]” The Wage Claims Statute by its terms mandates compliance. See Naugle, 864 N.E.2d at 1065 (holding that the Wage Payment Statute “by its terms mandates compliance”). The PTO compensation vested when the Named Plaintiffs rendered their services. See Die & Mold, Inc. v. Western, 448 N.E.2d 44, 47-48 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983) (Quotation omitted). Thus, the Wage Claims Statute and not Clarian’s policy governs the payment of the PTO wages....
Employers need to double check their policies and employees need to know that wages are due ten (10) days after termination.