by Kristopher N. Kazmierczak
Katz Korin P.C.
334 N. Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
317-464-1100
kkaz@katzkorin.com
http://www.katzkorin.com/katz-korin-news/
http://www.katzkorin.com/kristopher-n-kazmierczak/biography/
https://www.facebook.com/KatzKorinPC
https://twitter.com/KatzKorin


As of July 1, 2015, Indiana employers are no longer automatically liable for paying liquidated damages as a penalty for overdue wages under Indiana law. [1] Indiana law previously mandated that an employer must pay a maximum of double the amount of unpaid wages as a penalty for unlawfully withheld wages, without exception. [2] Before the revision, courts had no discretion to deny an award of liquidated damages in connection with meritorious wage claims. [3]

A monumental shift in Indiana’s wage statute took effect on July 1, 2015 when, for the first time in over a century, the Indiana General Assembly authorized courts to use their discretion when considering an award of liquidated damages for overdue wages. [4] Following the change in the law, an award of liquidated damages can only be imposed after the court is convinced that the employer was not acting in “good faith” when it failed to timely pay wages. [5] Although this significant change was presumably intended to avoid unfair results for honest mistakes by employers, it will likely cause more uncertainty and indecision for employers, employees, and the courts when assessing potential liability for liquidated damages. Additionally, the change will likely lead to more uncertainty over responsibility for liquidated damages and litigation over past due wages.

by Kelly R. Eskew, J.D.
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Business Law & Ethics
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
1309 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
kreskew@indiana.edu


This year, the Indiana General Assembly offered up Senate Bill 101 (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act or “RFRA”), [1] a law ostensibly intended to protect Hoosiers from having to violate their religious principles, but widely viewed as a discriminatory response to the Seventh Circuit’s ruling in 2014 that struck down the state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage. [2] RFRA raced through the Republican supermajority legislature and was quickly made law by Governor Mike Pence, one of the nation’s most conservative governors. [3] But soon after, Pence signed an amendment that not only affirmed the rights of gays and lesbians, but also those who face discrimination on the basis of gender identity. [4]

Business and grassroots advocacy leaders collaborated to try to defeat RFRA. [5] None expected to succeed, [6] but what they achieved surprised everyone – and this collaboration is not an outlier. Businesses worked with social justice advocates on marriage equality, which is now the law throughout the country. [7] In fact, businesses often engage in such initiatives. [8] Businesses have corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) programs of varying complexity that not only make charitable donations through their foundations, but also pioneer environmental projects and work to strength communities and schools. [9] CSR is also part of the syllabus in business ethics classes, which many business schools now require students to take. [10] In other words, social responsibility has moved from fad to policy. Businesses are also creating their own social movements that mirror the principles shared by grassroots advocates in areas such as poverty eradication, health-care access, and sustainability. [11]

So when and why does the American business community align itself with grassroots social movements? And is there a roadmap that shows each how to leverage the other to achieve shared goals? A fully fleshed response to these questions is beyond the scope of this post, but the RFRA experience suggests some answers.

by Hannah Kaufman Joseph & B.J. Brinkerhoff
Katz Korin P.C.
334 N. Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
317-464-1100
hjoseph@katzkorin.com
bbrinkerhoff@katzkorin.com
http://www.katzkorin.com/katz-korin-news/
http://www.katzkorin.com/hannah-kaufman-joseph/biography/
http://www.katzkorin.com/bj-brinkerhoff/biography/
https://www.facebook.com/KatzKorinPC
https://twitter.com/KatzKorin


Everyone knows that corporations and limited liability companies (“LLCs”) are governed by statutory requirements that outline how such entities must organize and govern themselves, and subsequently record those activities. [1] Oftentimes, the focus on these statutory requirements centers on whether a company has properly maintained itself as an independent organization entitled to limited liability protection from creditors, thereby insulating the owners, members, and/or shareholders from claims. [2] Thus, the applicable statutes serve as an important benchmark to determine whether a corporation or LLC has properly observed “corporate formalities.” If the organization generally complies with the statute’s specifications for the filing and upkeep of corporate records (and does not engage in behavior that would allow creditors to pierce the corporate veil), the protection afforded a company by its jurisdiction of domicile will hold tight against third parties. [3] But statutes that apply to formal business entities serve an often-disregarded, yet critical second purpose: to set forth the rights and duties the owners owe one another and the company. [4]

by Jon Noyes (Attorney Profile)
Wilson Kehoe Winingham LLC
2859 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
(317) 920-6400
wkw.com

[Editor’s Note: This is the second article Jon Noyes has written for the Indiana Law Review Blog. You can find his first article here.]


Indiana’s adult wrongful death statutes group individuals into two categories:  (1) adults who were married, or possessed dependent next of kin, or both; [1] and (2) adults who were not married and possessed no dependent next of kin. [2].  Which category the decedent falls into determines the measure of damages available. [3].

Under normal circumstances, this does not present a substantial obstacle.  It is usually easy to determine whether or not the decedent was married or possessed dependent next of kin.  This can be as simple as looking at the decedent’s death certificate.  However, what if it is impossible to determine whether the decedent possessed a spouse or dependents at the time of his or her death?  For example, how would a married couple be categorized if they had no dependents and died in a manner that left it impossible to determine who predeceased who?  Can the plaintiff show that the decedent meets the requirement of either?

The answer is no.  As discussed below, if two individuals that would normally be considered adults that were married expire simultaneously or in a manner that makes it impossible to determine who predeceased who, the plain language of the Wrongful Death Statute seems to indicate that it would be impossible to determine which measure of damages apply.  However, under principles of equity, the personal representatives of the decedents should be able to recover damages as if both individuals left surviving spouses.