Legal Question in Employment Law in Illinois

Stipend not paid

I worked as a resident advisor for a university and was promised a stipend of x dollars (however, the contract only says ''annual stipend, paid biweekly'' - no dollar amount). The amount is mentioned in separate memos and RA manual. I was not paid for one pay period during a school break because technically, we were not there the entire time, just a few days of 24 hour duty.

After adding up the total stipend for the year, I am missing one pay period's worth of money. When I asked the assistant director to correct this error, he said that he is not under legal obligation to fulfill the missing monies since the contract does not mention an exact amount. However, the RA manual and memos from the director do mention the amount.

The offer letter (contract) is very vague in describing responsibilities of an RA as well, but we were still bound to the rules stated in our manuals. As such, don't they have to pay us the stated amount in the manual?

What is the legal definition of a stipend? Do I have any legal case here?


Asked on 1/31/08, 2:54 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Nima Taradji Taradji Law Offices

Re: Stipend not paid

They have to pay you whatever amount they have stated in writing in the memo they have sent you supplementing the contract. From what you are describing, you are owed one dayís pay. Is there a Union you can talk to? The issue you face is that it is not worth litigating this since it will cost you several times over to bring the matter to court.

Legally you are right. Practically you donít have any good options.

I hope this helps,

Taradji Law Offices

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Answered on 1/31/08, 3:26 pm


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