Bradshaw v. Jayco Enterprises, Inc., No. 46987

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Kansas
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation510 P.2d 174,212 Kan. 206
Docket NumberNo. 46987
Decision Date12 May 1973
PartiesWilliam L. BRADSHAW, Appellant, v. JAYCO ENTERPRISES, INC., Appellee.

Page 174

510 P.2d 174
212 Kan. 206
William L. BRADSHAW, Appellant,
v.
JAYCO ENTERPRISES, INC., Appellee.
No. 46987.
Supreme Court of Kansas.
May 12, 1973.

Ronald D. Albright, Anthony, argued the cause, and William H. Yandell, Anthony, was with him on the brief for the appellant.

Terry T. Messick, of Hall & Hall, Anthony, argued the cause, and Max D. Hall, Anthony, was with him on the brief for the appellee.

Page 175

MEMORANDUM OPINION

PER CURIAM:

Appellant seeks to recover the statutory penalty under K.S.A. 44-308, for appellee's failure to pay him the wages due upon the termination of his employment.

The wage claim was for a week's vacation pay which was predicated upon appellant's allegation that appellee agreed to give him one week's paid vacation after he had worked for one year.

On appellee's answer the terms of the oral arrangement for vacation pay were disputed and appellee refused to pay. This action ensued.

After trial to the court the district judge expressed doubt as to whether a claim for vacation pay was one for wages under the penalty statute, but he gave appellant 'the benefit of the doubt on that' and rendered judgment for the week's pay of $96.00.

The trial court denied the claim for penalty, stating 'There is certainly a misunderstanding about this employment contract', that there was a legitimate controversy and the penalty statute did not apply.

The trial judge was right. The record reveals a legitimate controversy or an honest dispute over the terms of the agreement, its interpretation, and over the interpretation of the penalty statute.

In his brief appellant argues that if the penalty statute cannot provide a remedy in this situation, it would be virtually impossible for any employee to collect wages due him, as it would be impossible to employ counsel unless the amount of wages was a sizable sum.

We observe that neither may a plaintiff's claim be taken at face value and the penalty statute invoked automatically. There is generally[212 Kan. 207] little room for an honest dispute, however, over the amount of regular wages due upon termination of employment, but where there is a good-faith counterclaim, as in Osipik v. Jansen, 210 Kan. 645, 504 P.2d 148, or a claim for an excessive amount as in Gawthrop v. Missouri souri Pac. Rly. Co., 147 Kan. 756, 78 P.2d 854, or a dispute over contractual terms or the definition of wages, as in this case, it would be harsh and unjust indeed to apply the penalty statute.

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8 practice notes
  • Coma Corporation v. Kansas Department of Labor, No. 95,537.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • 23 Marzo 2007
    ...assessed against the employer. Holt v. Frito Lay, Inc., 217 Kan. 56, 61, 535 P.2d 450 (1975) (citing Bradshaw v. Jayco Enterprises, Inc., 212 Kan. 206, 510 P.2d 174 [1973]). However, "`[t]here is generally little room for an honest dispute.'" 217 Kan. at 61, 535 P.2d 450 In assess......
  • Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, No. 1
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • 16 Mayo 1978
    ...there is a good faith dispute over unpaid wages. Fordyce v. Gorey, 69 Ark. 344, 65 S.W. 429 (1901); Bradshaw v. Jayco Enterprises, Inc., 212 Kan. 206, 510 P.2d 174 (1973); Osipik v. Jansen, 210 Kan. 645, 504 P.2d 148 (1972); Clevy v. O'Meara, 236 La. 640, 108 So.2d 538 (1959); 3 see, Annot.......
  • Rice v. Multimedia, Inc., No. 24216
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 3 Noviembre 1994
    ...of treble damages in those cases where there is a bona fide dispute would be unjust and harsh. See Bradshaw v. Jayco Enterprises, 212 Kan. 206, 510 P.2d 174 (1973); Klondike Industries Corp. v. Gibson, 741 P.2d 1161 (Alaska In Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 580 P.2d 769 (Ct.Ap......
  • Licocci v. Cardinal Associates, Inc., No. 1-785
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 29 Abril 1986
    ...119 Ariz. 308, 580 P.2d 769 (dispute regarding the exact amount of sales commissions due); Bradshaw v. Joyco Enterprises, Inc. (1973), 212 Kan. 206, 510 P.2d 174 (dispute regarding the amount of vacation pay, if any, owed to the employee); Osipek v. Jansen (1972), 210 Kan. 645, 504 P.2d 148......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Coma Corporation v. Kansas Department of Labor, No. 95,537.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • 23 Marzo 2007
    ...assessed against the employer. Holt v. Frito Lay, Inc., 217 Kan. 56, 61, 535 P.2d 450 (1975) (citing Bradshaw v. Jayco Enterprises, Inc., 212 Kan. 206, 510 P.2d 174 [1973]). However, "`[t]here is generally little room for an honest dispute.'" 217 Kan. at 61, 535 P.2d 450 In assess......
  • Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, No. 1
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • 16 Mayo 1978
    ...there is a good faith dispute over unpaid wages. Fordyce v. Gorey, 69 Ark. 344, 65 S.W. 429 (1901); Bradshaw v. Jayco Enterprises, Inc., 212 Kan. 206, 510 P.2d 174 (1973); Osipik v. Jansen, 210 Kan. 645, 504 P.2d 148 (1972); Clevy v. O'Meara, 236 La. 640, 108 So.2d 538 (1959); 3 see, Annot.......
  • Rice v. Multimedia, Inc., No. 24216
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 3 Noviembre 1994
    ...of treble damages in those cases where there is a bona fide dispute would be unjust and harsh. See Bradshaw v. Jayco Enterprises, 212 Kan. 206, 510 P.2d 174 (1973); Klondike Industries Corp. v. Gibson, 741 P.2d 1161 (Alaska In Apache East, Inc. v. Wiegand, 119 Ariz. 308, 580 P.2d 769 (Ct.Ap......
  • Licocci v. Cardinal Associates, Inc., No. 1-785
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 29 Abril 1986
    ...119 Ariz. 308, 580 P.2d 769 (dispute regarding the exact amount of sales commissions due); Bradshaw v. Joyco Enterprises, Inc. (1973), 212 Kan. 206, 510 P.2d 174 (dispute regarding the amount of vacation pay, if any, owed to the employee); Osipek v. Jansen (1972), 210 Kan. 645, 504 P.2d 148......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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