Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

Quick Hits: Text Message Privacy; Top 10 for 2009; Summary Judgment; Prevailing Wages; 401(k) Contributions; $1B Wage/Hour Claim

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Wage & Hour

With a possible snowstorm coming this weekend (or not) and another next week, no doubt there will be the usual rushing out to get milk and bread. But before you do so, here’s a bevy of stories from the last week to keep you updated on the latest in employment law affecting employers in Connecticut.

  • All eyes this week turned to the Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case that may decide whether public employees have any constitutional privacy rights to personal text messages made on pagers paid for by the government. Its been covered exhaustively by many others, but the reason I think it merely deserves a short entry instead of longer is that I just have a hard time believing this case will have any dramatic impact on private employers.   Compliance Building and World of Work have good recaps, and the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog did a recap post earlier today here.  
  • On a related topic, Michael Fox of Jottings by an Employer’s Lawyer has a thought-provoking piece that the employment law arena is slowly coming into the electronic world.
  • What are the Top 10 Employment Law Developments for 2009? Well, the jury is still out on this one, but the Delaware Employment Law Blog puts the Obama Administration at number one. 
  • An often-debated question for employers dealing with cases is whether to file a motion for summary judgment — essentially, asking a judge to decide the case on the basis of allegedly "undisputed" material facts, thus circumventing the need for a jury.  A very good article published in Employment Law 360 analyzes whether employers ever can win these summary judgment motions. The conclusion: Employers are likely to lose but should still file the motion anyways.
  • Does your company deal with government contracts in Connecticut and the prevailing wage law? If so, the Office of Legislative Research prepared a research report this month which addresses several issues in a easy-to-understand primer. 
  • In benefit-related news, the brand new Benefits and Employment Observer discusses a recent lawsuit by the Department of Labor against a Manchester, Connecticut company for failing to remit 401(k) contributions.  (H/T Boston ERISA & Insurance Litigation Blog.)
  • Remember the Austin Powers movie series with Dr. Evil asking for ONE MILLION (no wait, ONE BILLION) dollars? Well, a new wage & hour class action filed against AT&T this week got headlines by its projected damages amount — One BILLION dollars.  The lawfirm representing the proposed class already has a separate lawsuit pending in Connecticut against AT&T subsidiary, SNET.  I’ll discuss that separate matter in an upcoming post.
  • http://www.valanduseconstructionlaw.com Timothy R. Hughes

    It is intriguing to see how much practice decisions depend on jurisdiction. On the employer filing the summary judgment motion, that is absolute standard operating procedure in every employment case in the US Eastern District and LOTS of them win. Very tough place for employment plaintiffs.