Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, No. 1

CourtCourt of Appeals of Arizona
Writing for the CourtOGG; JACOBSON, Acting P. J., and NELSON
Citation580 P.2d 769,119 Ariz. 308
Parties, 23 Wage & Hour Cas. (BNA) 1316 APACHE EAST, INC., an Arizona Corporation, Richard Cole and Joe Ann Cole, Appellants, v. Patrick WIEGAND, Appellee. 3729.
Decision Date16 May 1978
Docket NumberNo. 1,CA-CIV

Page 769

580 P.2d 769
119 Ariz. 308, 23 Wage & Hour Cas. (BNA) 1316
APACHE EAST, INC., an Arizona Corporation, Richard Cole and Joe Ann Cole, Appellants,
v.
Patrick WIEGAND, Appellee.
No. 1 CA-CIV 3729.
Court of Appeals of Arizona,Division 1,Department B.
May 16, 1978.
Rehearing Denied June 14, 1978.

[119 Ariz. 310]

Page 771

Michael E. St. George, Tempe, for appellants.

Machmer, Schlosser & Meitz, Ltd., Robert H. Schlosser, Phoenix, for appellee.

OPINION

OGG, Judge.

This appeal concerns the propriety of an award to the appellee of treble damages and attorney fees for appellant's failure to pay wages due.

From 1970 until May, 1974, appellee Patrick Wiegand was employed by appellant Apache East, Inc., as parts manager for its Apache Honda retail motorcycle dealership. Appellants Richard Cole and Joe Ann Cole are the sole shareholders of Apache East, Inc. It is undisputed that Wiegand's initial compensation was $800 per month, later increased to $1000 per month, or a ten percent commission on the sale of certain motorcycle parts, whichever was greater. It is disputed, however, whether this ten percent figure was limited to sales transacted in the parts department or whether it included parts sold through the sales department in connection with new or used motorcycles. Prior to trial, appellant agreed that Wiegand was owed $350.18; Wiegand, however, claimed an additional $2015.66 for 1973 and a minimum of $900 for 1974.

During the time Wiegand was employed by appellants, a partnership was formed under the name K and R Manufacturing for the manufacture of motorcycle parts and accessories to be distributed over the parts counter at Apache Honda. The partnership was composed of Wiegand, who owned sixty percent, and appellants Cole, who owned forty percent. The partners made no specific agreement except that when sales reached $18,000 further decisions would be made concerning the continuation of the business or the distribution of property or assets.

Following Wiegand's termination from Apache Honda the partnership was continued for a brief period in Wiegand's home until he traded the partnership assets for stock in another enterprise. 1

After answering Wiegand's complaint, appellants counterclaimed for an accounting of the partnership assets. The trial court awarded Wiegand judgment for wages due and owing for 1973 and 1974 of $3488.70, and held that these wages were subject to the treble damage provisions of ARS § 23-355. Wiegand was also awarded $720 for attorney fees. 2 On the counterclaim the court ordered Wiegand to file an accounting of the assets of K and R Manufacturing. Upon the trial court's denial of appellants' motion for new trial, this appeal was taken.

The first question on appeal is whether there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court's finding that Wiegand's compensation included a commission of parts sold through the sales department.

No findings of fact or conclusions of law were requested by the parties and none were given. We must therefore affirm the decision of the trial court if its decision is supported by any reasonable evidence. Harmon v. Hanson's Pump & Machine Works, Inc., 4 Ariz.App. 107, 417 P.2d 741 (1966). Wiegand testified that as parts manager his compensation was to include a commission on parts sold through the sales [119 Ariz. 311]

Page 772

department as well as parts sold over the parts counter. Although appellants presented evidence to the contrary, the trial court chose to believe Wiegand. Since this determination is supported by reasonable evidence we must affirm it.

Appellants next argue that any sums due Wiegand are not "wages" within the meaning of § 23-355, which states:

If an employer, in violation of the provisions of this chapter, shall fail to pay wages due any employee, such employee may recover in a civil action against an employer or former employer an amount which is treble the amount of the unpaid wages, together with costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to be allowed by the court on the basis of time and effort expended by counsel in behalf of the plaintiff-employee.

The testimony at trial established that Wiegand was paid his commission on all sales whether consummated personally by Wiegand or by one of the parts salesmen in Wiegand's absence. It was also established that Wiegand was absent from the premises of Apache Honda at various times while on other business for Apache East or K and R. Appellants cite three cases which stand for the proposition that "wages" included compensation only for the personal labors of the employee. See, Barron v. Ambort, 64 Ariz. 209, 167 P.2d 925 (1946); Parise v. Industrial Commission, 16 Ariz.App. 177, 492 P.2d 426 (1971); Industrial Commission v. Jordan, 9 Ariz.App. 23, 448 P.2d 895 (1968). In essence, appellants argue that unless Wiegand was personally involved in a particular sale, any compensation due him was not for his personal labors and thus not a "wage" within the meaning of the holdings on the cases cited by them.

We disagree with this contention. Inherent in Wiegand's duties as parts manager was the supervision of employees under him in the sale of motorcycle parts. This supervisory capacity was directly related to his personal efforts as parts manager. See Barron v. Ambort (salary plus commission held to be wages under workmen's compensation act); State ex rel. Nilsen v. Oregon State Motor Assoc., 248 Or. 133, 432 P.2d 512 (1967) (vacation pay, when nondiscretionary, is "wages").

Appellants' next contention is that the definition of wages set...

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36 practice notes
  • Friolo v. Frankel, No. 825
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 7 Septiembre 2011
    ...not be invoked “when there is a reasonable good faith wage dispute between the employer and the employee.” Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 580 P.2d 769, 773 (Ariz.App.1978). Admiral Mortgage, 357 Md. at 541–42, 745 A.2d 1026. 43. Appellees' general denial of liability in their ......
  • Admiral Mortgage, Inc. v. Cooper, No. 41
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 7 Febrero 2000
    ...not be invoked "when there is a reasonable good faith wage dispute between the employer and the employee." Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 580 P.2d 769, 773 (Ariz.App. In this case, the circuit court used part of the definition of "bona fide" given in BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY and......
  • Schade v. Diethrich, No. CV-87-0072-PR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 19 Julio 1988
    ...damage statute deters employers from withholding or delaying payment of sums which employees have earned, Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 312, 580 P.2d 769, 773 (App.1978), and protects employees from an employer's groundless refusal to pay compensation which was promised and w......
  • Redhair v. Kinerk, Beal, Schmidt, Dyer, No. 2 CA-CV 2007-0107.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • 30 Abril 2008
    ...— rather, it provides for the possibility of treble damages once actual damages have been proven. See Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 312-13, 580 P.2d 769, 773-74 (App.1978) (award of treble damages for unpaid wages pursuant to § 23-355 discretionary with the trial court). Thus......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
36 cases
  • Friolo v. Frankel, No. 825
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 7 Septiembre 2011
    ...not be invoked “when there is a reasonable good faith wage dispute between the employer and the employee.” Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 580 P.2d 769, 773 (Ariz.App.1978). Admiral Mortgage, 357 Md. at 541–42, 745 A.2d 1026. 43. Appellees' general denial of liability in their ......
  • Admiral Mortgage, Inc. v. Cooper, No. 41
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 7 Febrero 2000
    ...not be invoked "when there is a reasonable good faith wage dispute between the employer and the employee." Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 580 P.2d 769, 773 (Ariz.App. In this case, the circuit court used part of the definition of "bona fide" given in BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY and......
  • Schade v. Diethrich, No. CV-87-0072-PR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 19 Julio 1988
    ...damage statute deters employers from withholding or delaying payment of sums which employees have earned, Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 312, 580 P.2d 769, 773 (App.1978), and protects employees from an employer's groundless refusal to pay compensation which was promised and w......
  • Redhair v. Kinerk, Beal, Schmidt, Dyer, No. 2 CA-CV 2007-0107.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • 30 Abril 2008
    ...— rather, it provides for the possibility of treble damages once actual damages have been proven. See Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 312-13, 580 P.2d 769, 773-74 (App.1978) (award of treble damages for unpaid wages pursuant to § 23-355 discretionary with the trial court). Thus......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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