In Elsner v. Brown, 2013 Ill App. (2d) 120209 (September 10, 2013), the 2nd Appellate District affirmed a DuPage County ruling that a former employee was entitled to enforce a three year employment contract. The employer challenged the trial court's jurisdiction, alleging that it had insufficient minimum contacts with the state to tolerate jurisdiction under either Illinois or federal due process and that the trial court's jurisdiction over them would violate "notions of fair play and substantial justice." Since they had no physical presence, and did not have a headquarters in Illinois, the Defendant reasoned that Illinois was an improper forum for this dispute. The trial court and the Appellate Court disagreed.
The courts determined that the Wage Act has no residency requirement for employees or employers. Under the Wage Act, compensation as spelled out in an employment contract could be enforced by any employee who could allege sufficient contacts with the forum to permit litigation.
Here, the defendant company did have sufficient contacts and the court then enforced the plain language of the employment contract which mandated aggregate sum payments for the remaining balance of the contract since the employee was not terminated for cause. Finally, since the contract was poorly drafted and did not explicitly address attorneys fees, the Wage Act's attorneys fees provision enabled the employee to obtain his attorneys fees and costs as well as those contested wages.
Businesses would be wise to consult with Illinois attorneys to determine their potential exposure to Wage Act litigation and assess whether their agreements, policies, and procedures increase or decrease their potential losses in litigation. Nair Law LLC is well positioned to minimize corporate exposure and allow companies to operate within the confines of the Wage Act and other Illinois and federal employment laws.
Employees would be wise to enforce their rights. The laws are favorable to them and contacting an attorney at Nair Law LLC is free. Since attorneys fees and costs are recoverable, employees can rest assured that their legal team will fight hard for their rights under the Wage Act and other Illinois and federal laws.