RICHARD MICHELHAUGH, ET AL.
CONSOLIDATED NUCLEAR SECURITY, LLC
Session Date: October 19, 2016
from the Circuit Court for Anderson County No. B5LA0168
Donald Ray Elledge, Judge
appeal arises from a dispute over vacation benefits. Richard
Michelhaugh and John Williams ("Plaintiffs"),
employees of Y-12 in Oak Ridge, filed suit in the Circuit
Court for Anderson County ("the Trial Court")
against the contractor, Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC
("CNS"), running their work site. Plaintiffs
alleged that CNS deprived them of earned vacation time by
changing the vacation policy mid work-year. CNS filed a Rule
12 motion to dismiss, which the Trial Court granted.
Plaintiffs appeal to this Court. We find and hold that
Plaintiffs alleged in their complaint that they were deprived
of earned vacation time, that Plaintiffs' allegations
were sufficient to withstand CNS's motion to dismiss, and
that, therefore, the Trial Court erred in granting CNS's
motion to dismiss. We reverse the judgment of the Trial Court
and remand this case for further proceedings.
Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the
Circuit Court Reversed; Case Remanded
Gregory F. Coleman and Mark E. Silvey, Knoxville, Tennessee,
for the appellants, Richard Michelhaugh and John Williams, on
behalf of themselves and others similarly situated.
McKinney Stogsdill and Charles E. Young, Jr., Oak Ridge,
Tennessee, for the appellee, Consolidated Nuclear Security,
Michael Swiney, C.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Charles D. Susano, Jr., and John W. McClarty, JJ.,
MICHAEL SWINEY, CHIEF JUDGE
case was dismissed by the granting of CNS's motion to
dismiss, the facts as set out in this Opinion are those
relevant and material factual allegations contained in the
complaint. Plaintiffs initiated this case in response to CNS
altering their vacation benefits policy mid-year. CNS
contracted to lead operations at Y-12 in Oak Ridge. The prior
contractor, B&W, had set up a vacation policy whereby
salaried employees would accrue a year's worth of
vacation time that was awarded in a lump sum at the end of
the year. For example, a salaried employee's vacation
time was earned throughout 2012, but was awarded in a lump
sum on December 31 of that year. If an employee retired on
January 1, 2013, the employee could cash in that unused
vacation time. The Vacation Plan described the vacation time
Vacation Plan provided in relevant part:
It is the policy of B&W Technical Services Y-12, LLC [the
predecessor contractor to CNS] to provide annual vacation
with pay during each calendar year to eligible employees.
Rules pertaining to hourly employees are contained in the
applicable collective bargaining agreement. This procedure
replaced Y11-114, Vacation Plan, dated 04/09/08 and applies
to all B&W Technical Services Y-12 salaried employees.
This procedure applies to all Y-12 employees. No provision of
this procedure shall be construed as an employment agreement.
B. Vested Rights to Vacation Eligibility for Salaried
A salaried employee has vested rights to next calendar
year's vacation if all
of the following are applicable:
• The salaried employee was hired prior to January 1,
1996, or was reinstated on or after January 1, 1996, with
immediate restoration of prior service which results in an
adjusted company service date of December 31, 1995, or
•The salaried employee has completed one year of company
service credit; and
• The salaried employee was on the payroll of the
company on December 31.
NOTE An employee's company service date
may be reinstated or adjusted based upon criteria established
in Y11-120, ...