September 19, 2013


Diane M. Fremgen

Clerk of Court of Appeals







This opinion is subject to further editing.  If published, the official version will appear in the bound volume of the Official Reports. 


A party may file with the Supreme Court a petition to review an adverse decision by the Court of Appeals.  See Wis. Stat. § 808.10 and Rule 809.62. 





Appeal No. 


Cir. Ct. No.  2010CV3748









Barbara M. Junge,






ABS Global, Inc.,







            APPEAL and CROSS-APPEAL from an order of the circuit court for Dane County:  jUAN  b. cOLáS, Judge.  Affirmed. 

            Before Blanchard, P.J., Sherman and Kloppenburg, JJ. 

1        PER CURIAM.    Barbara Junge appeals that part of an order denying her summary judgment motions and dismissing her wage and breach of contract claims against ABS Global, Inc.  ABS cross-appeals that part of the order denying its summary judgment motion and dismissing its counterclaim for breach of contract.  We reject the parties’ respective arguments and affirm the order.  


2        The following facts are undisputed.  In January 2009, Junge and several other employees were laid off from their employment with ABS.  At that time, Junge’s hourly wage was $19.32 and she had no written employment agreement.  At a January 28, 2009 meeting with ABS’s director of human resources, Junge was informed her employment would end effective January 30, 2009.  She was offered the choice of fully concluding her employment on January 30 or continuing to work for ABS under a termination agreement containing a “working severance package.”  This package would allow Junge to work in a transitional role for a limited time. 

3        ABS calculated the amount of Junge’s working severance by multiplying her thirty-five years of employment with the company by an amount equal to one week of wages at time-and-a-half, resulting in compensation totaling $40,572.  This amount was divided into two categories.  One consisted of “working severance” in the amount of $19,706.40, to be paid in equal installments on regular pay days through May 31, 2009; and the other consisted of a “lump sum payment” of $20,865.60, to be paid “following the completion of the working severance.”  

4        Junge understood she would receive the working severance amount and the lump sum payment only if she continued working through the working severance period.  Junge opted to accept the termination agreement.  Junge worked forty hours per week during the working severance period and was paid bi-weekly on regular pay days.  She received payroll statements on her pay days showing her hourly wage of $28.42.  Junge questioned the amount when she received her first paycheck and was informed that she was no longer being paid her pre-termination wage, and the working severance rate was now her pay.  Junge continued working through the working severance period and received all payments contemplated under the termination agreement, including the lump sum payment. 

5        Junge subsequently filed a wage claim with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (“DWD”).  When DWD was unable to resolve Junge’s claim, she filed suit in the circuit court.  Junge argued that although ABS made its severance payments to her, it failed to pay her $13,137.60 in wages earned after her termination date.  Junge calculated this amount by multiplying her $19.32 pre-termination wage rate by forty hours for the seventeen weeks of the working severance period.  Junge sought double her unpaid wages, plus litigation expenses, including reasonable attorney fees pursuant to Wis. Stat § 109.03 (2011-12).[1]  She alternatively claimed that ABS breached the termination agreement “by paying her $13,370.60 less than the amount set forth in the agreement.”  ABS counterclaimed, asserting that Junge breached the agreement by bringing a claim released under the agreement. 

6        The parties filed competing summary judgment motions.  The court ultimately denied the motions and dismissed the parties’ respective claims.  This appeal and cross-appeal follow. 


7        We review summary judgment independently, applying the same standards as the circuit court.  Germanotta v. National Indem. Co., 119 Wis. 2d 293, 296-97, 349 N.W.2d 733 (Ct. App. 1984).  Summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  Id. at 296. 

8        On appeal, the parties repeat the arguments that were raised and rejected by the circuit court.  Because the circuit court’s decision is well reasoned and clearly articulated, and squarely addresses the parties’ respective arguments, we adopt it by reference with a minor modification, and affirm.  See Wis. Ct. App. IOP VI(5)(a) (Jan. 1, 2012).  The minor modification is to correct an inadvertent reference.  The last full sentence before the disposition on page four of the decision is corrected to read:  “Therefore, the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on its counterclaim is denied and, because as a matter of law the contract was not breached by the filing of the claims in question, the counterclaim must be dismissed.”  

            By the Court.—Order affirmed.

            This opinion will not be published.  See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.23(1)(b)5.  



[1]  All references to the Wisconsin Statutes are to the 2011-12 version unless otherwise noted.