Genuine issues of material fact preclude summary judgment for either moving party in this dispute between a government contractor and 21 of its former employees.
The employees allege that the defendant failed to pay them certain hardship and danger pay “uplifts” while they worked as government contractors in Afghanistan. The terms of the plaintiffs’ employment are governed by their respective offer letters and letters of assignment.
The offer letter and letter of assignment both refer to the “hardship” uplift but define it in conflicting ways. The plaintiffs argue that the Department of State’s Standardized Regulations have been incorporated into the contract through use of the phrase “as designated by the Department of State” in the offer letters and that those regulations lists the “hardship” differential for placement in Afghanistan as 35 percent. The defendant argues that the regulations were not incorporated and do not impose a mandatory amount even if they were.
Because the parties understand the same writing in different, yet not unreasonable ways, the contract terms are ambiguous. Therefore, the disputed issues are more appropriately determined by the trier of fact.
Motion for summary judgment denied.