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American Consulting Environmental Safety Services, Inc. v. Schuck
Indiana Court of Appeals
888 N.E.2d 874 (2008)
American Consulting Environmental Safety Services, Incorporated (American Consulting) (plaintiff) employed Schuck (plaintiff) as a safety instructor. Schuck signed an employment agreement with American Consulting. Schuck underwent additional training in occupational safety and health paid for by American Consulting. Section 12 of the employment agreement required that an employee who voluntarily terminated the employment or who was terminated for good cause within 12 months of training must repay a portion of the training cost based on how much time had passed since training. If the employment was terminated in fewer than three months, the employee was to repay the entire $3,000 cost of the training. The training comprised 1 day of watching videos and taking quizzes and 12 and a half days of shadow training with a coworker. American Consulting provided no other training. Schuck was paid at a rate of $9 per hour during the training. About five months after she began working at American Consulting, Schuck resigned due to medical problems and a concern for her pregnancy. American Consulting sued Schuck for repayment of half of the cost of her training. The trial court found that section 12 was a penalty provision and that the maximum damages were $468 (13 days at 8 hours per day at $9 per hour, divided by 2 because American Consulting was seeking to recover one half of the amount stipulated in Section 12). American Consulting appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Friedlander, J.)
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