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Majmudar v. House of Spices (India), Inc.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division

November 22, 2013

SUBHASH MAJMUDAR, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
HOUSE OF SPICES (INDIA), INC., Defendant-Appellee.

Held: [*]

Plaintiff was not entitled to relief under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act for unpaid future compensation for the remainder of the terminated employment contract plaintiff had with defendant, since the question of whether plaintiff was terminated for cause did not fall under the Act’s definition of “final compensation, ” and defendant did not violate the Act by failing to pay plaintiff future compensation for the remainder of the terminated contract.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 08-L-004338; the Hon. Ronald Bartkowicz, Judge, presiding.

Matthew T. Layman, of Moran Law Group, of Chicago, for appellant.

David S. Baffa, of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, of Chicago, for appellee.

Justices Palmer and Taylor concurred in the judgment, with opinion.

OPINION

McBRIDE, JUSTICE

¶ 1 This appeal arises out of a dispute between plaintiff Subhash Majmudar and defendant House of Spices (India), Inc., after plaintiff's employment with defendant was terminated approximately 15 months into a 5-year employment contract. On appeal, plaintiff's sole contention is that the trial court erred in finding that he was not entitled to relief pursuant to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (Act) (820 ILCS 115/1 et seq. (West 2006)). We affirm.

¶ 2 Plaintiff filed his original complaint on April 21, 2008, alleging a breach of contract and a claim under the Act. On May 14, 2008, he filed an amended complaint alleging a breach of contract, a claim under the Act, and two claims that were dismissed before trial. The pertinent facts according to the complaint are as follows: on August 27, 2006, plaintiff entered into a contract with Gorhandas L. Soni (G.L. Soni), the president of House of Spices for a fixed five-year term with additional benefits. The contract was reduced to a typed document the following day. According to plaintiff, he fully performed under the contract but his employment with defendant was terminated on December 12, 2007. Plaintiff claimed that defendant breached the contract and, as a result, he was entitled to the $625, 309.75 in salary and benefits he stood to gain from the remainder of the contract. Plaintiff also requested relief pursuant to the Act in the form of $625, 309.75 in compensatory damages, reasonable attorney fees, and the costs of suit.

¶ 3 The handwritten contract is dated August 27, 2006, titled "5 year contract, " and provides:

"This is to certify that G.L. Soni & Subhash Majmudar agreed as under on 8/27/06:
(1) His Base Salary is $111, 000.00
(2) Monthly car coupons will be paid by [House of Spices]
(3) A [increase] [sic] of $10, 000.00 will be paid ...

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