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Hocraffer v. Trotter General Contracting, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

May 24, 2013

JOSIAH HOCRAFFER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
TROTTER GENERAL CONTRACTING, INC., an Illinois Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.

Rule 23 Order filed April 18, 2013

Motion to publish allowed May 24, 2013

Held [*]

Plaintiff’s action alleging that defendant contractor failed to pay him the prevailing wage for work he performed was properly dismissed, since plaintiff’s work was performed at defendant’s shop and the Prevailing Wage Act only applies to work performed “on the site of the building or construction job.”

Appeal from the Circuit Court of McDonough County, No. 11-LM-57; the Hon. Patricia A. Walton, Judge, presiding.

George Petrilli and Bruce Stratton, both of Stratton, Giganti, Stone, Moran & Radkey, of Springfield, for appellant.

Michael L. Resis and Ellen L. Green, both of SmithAmundsen LLC, of Chicago, and Jeffrey Risch and Jonathan D. Hoag, both of SmithAmundsen LLC, of St. Charles, for appellee.

Justices Holdridge and Schmidt concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

LYTTON, JUSTICE.

¶ 1 Plaintiff, Josiah Hocraffer, filed suit against defendant, Trotter General Contracting, Inc., for failing to pay him the prevailing wage for work he performed while under defendant's employ. The trial court dismissed the claim on the ground that Hocraffer's services were not performed "on the job site." We affirm.

¶ 2 In May of 2011, Hocraffer filed a complaint against Trotter, seeking wages, benefits, interest and attorney fees for alleged violations of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act (Act) (820 ILCS 130/1 et seq. (West 2010)). In the complaint, Hocraffer alleged that Trotter was a general construction company that performed contract work for private and public works projects in the McDonough County area and that he was employed as a carpenter for Trotter between February 2009 and March 2010. He further alleged that during his employment, Trotter directed him to fabricate and construct certain portions of its public works projects in its shop and then it transported the items to the sites to be used in the construction of the projects. Hocraffer claimed that he was paid less than the prevailing wage as required under the Act for the work he performed.

¶ 3 Trotter filed a motion to dismiss under section 2-619.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619.1 (West 2010)). The trial court granted the motion and gave Hocraffer leave to file an amended complaint.

¶ 4 In his amended pleading, Hocraffer alleged, more specifically, that Trotter directed him "to fabricate, construct, or paint windows and door units, gutters, and concrete forms for use in the Defendant's public works projects then underway in its shop and then transport them to the job site for installation or use on and in said project." He further claimed that the work performed in Trotter's shop was performed by the same persons as would have otherwise performed the same work on the jobsite and that those same persons performing the work transported the described items from Trotter's shop in Macomb to a construction site at Western Illinois University and to public works projects in Havana and Cuba, Illinois.

ΒΆ 5 Trotter filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint, arguing that the Act limits payment of the prevailing wage to only those laborers and workers who are directly employed by contractors or subcontractors in actual construction work on the site of the building or construction job, and laborers or ...


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