Tuesday, July 28, 2009

State Must Pay $42 Million To Underpaid Workers

It has taken nearly 16 years for current and former state employees to recover wages they claim they were owed by the State of Indiana. At issue in the lengthy litigation were state workers who were required to work 40-hour weeks for the same wages as other state employees who worked 37.5-hour weeks. The state ended that practice in 1993, making all state employees subject to the shorter work week. After a 4-day trial, Marion Superior Court Judge John Hanley ruled in favor of the class action plaintiffs, awarding them over $42 million, the largest class action award ever against the State of Indiana. The award affects as many as 15,000 current and former state employees during the pay period of 1973 to 1993.

I know one one of those retired state workers who is looking forward to recovering his lost pay, and I'm very happy for him. Hopefully, he and the others won't have to wait years more to recover their back wages. The State of Indiana could use that additional $8 million more it has pledged to hand over to Indianapolis' CIB to pay this obligation, assuming the City-County Council approves the tax, borrow and spend scheme before it now. This is a case where administration after administration just kept kicking the can down the road instead of addressing this legitimate issue years ago. The chickens have now come home to roost. The Indiana Law Blog has more on today's ruling here, along with a copy of Judge Hanley's Order here.


Zookeeper29 said...

I have been waiting since 1993 for my grievance to finally be realistically answered beyond the rubber stamped "DENIED" by the State.

Unknown said...

This ruling could have a significant impact on similar issues.

I am gathering information about it now. Thanks for posting the link to the judge's order.