United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Janette Ostrander brings the instant suit against Defendant
Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (“Hill-Rom”) for
unpaid commissions pursuant to Indiana Code §
22-2-5-2. [Filing No. 1; Filing No. 7.]
Presently pending before the Court is Hill-Rom's Motion
to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. [Filing No.
14.] For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES
Hill-Rom's Motion to Dismiss.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) “requires only ‘a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.'” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2)). “Specific facts are not necessary, the
statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of
what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.'” Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93 (quoting
Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss asks whether the complaint
“contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must
accept all well-pled facts as true and draw all permissible
inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Active
Disposal, Inc. v. City of Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th
Cir. 2011). The Court will not accept legal conclusions or
conclusory allegations as sufficient to state a claim for
relief. See McCauley v. City of Chicago,
671 F.3d 611, 617 (7th Cir. 2011). Factual allegations must
plausibly state an entitlement to relief “to a degree
that rises above the speculative level.” Munson v.
Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir. 2012). This
plausibility determination is “a context-specific task
that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id.
factual allegations in Ms. Ostrander's Amended Complaint,
which the Court must accept as true at this time, are as
a medical technologies manufacturer and provider, hired Ms.
Ostrander as an Information Technology
(“IT”) Sales Executive on or about
October 20, 2014. [Filing No. 7 at 2.] Ms. Ostrander
earned commissions based on her sales, and Hill-Rom paid her
commissions from each month at the end of the following
month. [Filing No. 7 at 2.]
April 30, 2015, Hill-Rom owed Ms. Ostrander $204, 328.35 in
sales commissions for her March 2015 sales, but refused to
pay her. [Filing No. 7 at 3.] Between April 30, 2015
and September 2015, Ms. Ostrander demanded her March 2015
commissions, but Hill-Rom continued to refuse payment.
[Filing No. 7 at 3.] Hill-Rom terminated Ms.
Ostrander's employment on September 18, 2015. [Filing
No. 7 at 3.] On December 11, 2015, Hill-Rom paid Ms.
Ostrander $204, 328.35 for the March 2015 commissions that
she earned. [Filing No. 7 at 3.]
having exhausted her administrative remedies with the Indiana
Department of Labor, Ms. Ostrander initiated this litigation
on May 18, 2016, [Filing No. 1], and filed the
operative Amended Complaint on May 24, 2016, [Filing No.
7]. Ms. Ostrander argues that Hill-Rom owes her $408,
656.70 in liquidated damages for failure to pay her March
2015 commissions on April 30, 2016. [Filing No. 7 at
4.] In addition, Ms. Ostrander claims that she is
entitled to receive a statutory penalty of $225 and
attorney's fees and costs. [Filing No. 7 at 4.]
challenges Ms. Ostrander's Amended Complaint on two
grounds: first, it argues that this Court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction over Ms. Ostrander's claim under the
Indiana Wage Payment Act (“IWPA”),
[Filing No. 15 at 3]; second, she argues that Ms.
Ostrander's claim under the Indiana Wage Claims Statute
(“IWCS”) fails because she only seeks
liquidated damages under Ind. Code § 22-2-5-2, [Filing
No. 15 at 6]. The Court will address the issues in turn.
argues that Ms. Ostrander's IWPA claim fails for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction because Ms. Ostrander “did
not suffer a harm identified” in the IWPA. [Filing
No. 15 at 4.] Hill-Rom asserts that the IWPA governs
wage payment for employees who voluntarily terminate their
employment, while the IWCS governs wage payment for employees
who were involuntarily terminated. [Filing No. 15 at
3-4.] Hill-Rom contends that because Ms. ...