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Steve Omans v. Manpower

September 5, 2012

STEVE OMANS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MANPOWER, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the Court is Defendant's Second Motion to Dismiss. For the reasons stated herein, the motion is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

The Court set out the case background in its May 2, 2012 opinion and will not repeat it at length. Briefly, Plaintiff Steve Omans ("Omans") sues his former employer, Manpower, Inc. ("Manpower"), for whom he worked from December 2008 until July 15, 2009. Omans was hired to sell Manpower's support services to the healthcare industry.

Plaintiff was employed, evidently at will, under an agreement which included Manpower's "Manpower 2009 Field Incentive Plan Document" ("Incentive Plan" or "Plan"), which makes a sales representative's commission a function of Manpower's gross profit from a given account. Incentive payments were to be made on a monthly basis "on targeted account revenues for 12 months from the assignment date per account sold during the first 12 months of a new account." The Plan, which was attached to the Complaint, states that an employee must be actively employed by Manpower on the closing date of the particular incentive period ("based on JDE cut-off," though what "JDE" means is unclear) to be eligible for incentive payout for that period.

Omans allegedly won for Manpower several contracts, including a $6 million service contract with Allscripts, LLC ("Allscripts") around July 6, 2009. All told, had he continued to work for Manpower for 12 more months, he allegedly would have earned over $200,000 in commissions. Instead, he claims, he was fired so that Manpower would not have to pay him the commissions he had earned.

This Court granted in part and denied in part Defendant's first Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff subsequently filed a three-count Amended Complaint. Two of those, Count I (for breach of contract through breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing) and Count II (under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, (the "IWPCA") are at issue here.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

The Court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts in the Complaint and draws all inferences in Plaintiff's favor. Cole v. Milwaukee Area Tech. Coll. Dist., 634 F.3d 901, 903 (7th Cir. 2011). A complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief" and "contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Count I -- Breach of Contract

An Illinois appellate court recently summarized the law of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing ("covenant"), which is implied in every Illinois contract:

Its purpose is to ensure that parties do not take advantage of each other in a way that could not have been contemplated at the time the contract was drafted or do anything that will destroy the other party's right to receive the benefit of the contract.

Disputes involving the exercise of good faith arise when one party is given broad discretion in performing its obligations under the contract. The duty of good faith and fair dealing is a limitation on the exercise of that discretion, requiring the party vested with discretion to exercise it reasonably and with proper motive, not arbitrarily, capriciously, or in a manner inconsistent with the parties' ...


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