law-Pay-Day-Act claim | employment pay disputes | bonus disputes with employer | FLSA claims
PAYDAY ACT CLAIM CASELAW CLIPS
Under the Payday Law, a claimant may choose between two alternative remedial courses—a common
law remedy or a statutory remedy. Igal v. Brightstar Info. Tech. Grp., Inc., 250 S.W.3d 78, 87 (Tex.
2008). The statutory right of action is cumulative. Id.
Chapter 61, part of the "Payday Law," provides an alternative remedial scheme for workers who have
been denied wages. See Igal, 250 S.W.3d at 87; Hull v. Davis, 211 S.W.3d 461, 464 (Tex.App.-
Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, no pet.). Rather than filing a breach of contract lawsuit in court, a worker
can file a wage claim with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). See TEX. LAB.CODE ANN. §
61.051 (West Supp.2009). This provides a streamlined process for obtaining relief to workers with
smaller claims that might be too cumbersome to pursue in court. See 864*864 Igal, 250 S.W.3d at 82,
87; Hull, 211 S.W.3d at 464. Thus, a worker has a choice either to file an administrative claim with the
TWC or a common law breach of contract claim in district court. Igal, 250 S.W.3d at 82; Hull, 211 S.W.
3d at 464.
A cause of action may be implied only when a legislative intent to do so appears in the statute. Brown
v. De La Cruz, 156 S.W.3d 560, 567 (Tex.2004). We apply a strict rule of construction to statutory
enforcement schemes and imply causes of action only when the legislative intent is clear from the
language of the statute. See Witkowski v. Brian, Fooshee & Yonge Props., 181 S.W.3d 824, 831 (Tex.
App.-Austin 2005, no pet.); see also Brown, 156 S.W.3d at 563, 566. Chapter 61 provides a detailed
administrative enforcement scheme and allows the possibility for enforcement by the attorney general,
and nothing in language of chapter 61 shows any intent to also allow a private right of action.
Moreover, another portion of the Payday Law, chapter 62, specifically provides for a private cause of
action for failure to pay minimum wages. See TEX. LAB.CODE ANN. 865*865 §§ 62.201-.205 (West
2006). The legislature's express inclusion of a private right of action in chapter 62 and omission of
that language in chapter 61 strongly suggests that the legislature did not intend a private right of
action under chapter 61. See Touche Ross & Co. v. Redington, 442 U.S. 560, 571-72, 99 S.Ct. 2479,
61 L.Ed.2d 82 (1979) (finding no private cause of action for statute "flanked by provisions of the [act]
that explicitly grant private causes of action" and noting that "when Congress wished to provide a
private damage remedy, it knew how to do so and did so expressly"); Brown, 156 S.W.3d at 568 ("[W]
hen the Legislature includes a right or remedy in one part of a code and omits it in another, that may
be precisely what the Legislature intended."); Seidner v. Citibank (S.D.) N.A., 201 S.W.3d 332, 337
(Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, pet. denied) ("Legislative express provision of certain specific
remedies strongly suggests that it did not intend to impliedly authorize other remedies.").
Section 61.062 of the Texas Payday Law sets out the requirements for appealing a decision by the
TWC. See Tex. Lab. Code Ann. § 61.062(a)-(e). Section 61.062 requires a party to file its suit for
judicial review "not later than the 30th day after the date the final order is mailed." Id. § 61.062(b).
The section also requires "[t]he commission and any other party to the proceeding before the
commission" to be "made defendants in the suit." Id. § 61.062(c)
the "Payday Act" expressly does not apply to governmental or political subdivisions of this state. TEX.
LAB. CODE ANN. § 61.003 (Vernon 2006); Igal v. Brightstar Info. Tech. Group, Inc, 250 S.W.3d 78,
82 n.2 (Tex. 2008).
Igal v. Brightstar Information Tech Group. Inc., No. 04-0931(Tex. May 2, 2008)
(Pay Day Act claim, res judicata, claim preclusion based on agency ruling)
The Court's opinion of December 7, 2007 is withdrawn and the opinion of this date is substituted.
The dissenting opinion by Justice Brister and the judgment, issued December 7, 2007, remain in