Yesterday, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act — a broad federal law designed to give companies added protection. It does not circumvent state law — indeed, where a state law is more protective of the trade secret, it still applies. Nevertheless, it provides a base level of uniformity nationwide.
Late last month, a federal court in Connecticut took another look at the prohibition of discrimination “because of sex” with a case that has all the elements of a “can you believe it” fact-pattern that will surely be used for harassment training going forward.
The case involves a male employee posed for Playgirl nearly two…
Without such disclaimers, employers can be subject to a breach of contract claim…
It’s not true, of course, but at times it feels like there is no limit to the creativity of lawyers filing claims against employers.
One such tactic was recently rejected by the federal…
Your former employee files suit against your company in federal court in Connecticut claiming that she is entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. You go to a settlement conference before a magistrate judge. After a few hours of back and forth negotiation, you reach a settlement with the ex-employee.
Is judicial approval…
Every week or two, the federal court in Connecticut is asked to decide a motion for summary judgment in a discrimination case. I’ve yet to discuss what these motions are in detail on this blog, but a recent federal case in Connecticut provides a good learning example.
To simplify (drastically?) a federal court case in Connecticut, after a lawsuit is filed by an employee and responded to by the defendant/employer, the parties engage in what is called discovery — interrogatories, requests for production and depositions — all in the hopes of getting information that can help them at trial.
But at the end of discovery — before a trial happens — the parties (and typically the defendant) have an opportunity to file a “motion for summary judgment.” Such a motion is the defendant’s chance to say, “Based on the undisputed facts, we should win on the law.” Or, in other words, there’s no need for a trial.
What people unfamiliar with the legal process often misunderstand, however, is that the court isn’t merely looking at the law in deciding whether the case merits a trial. Rather, the court first looks to see whether all the material (or, in plain English, important) facts are undisputed.
If there are genuine disagreements as to key factual issues, then the case has to go to a trial to let a jury or judge decide the key facts.
A car accident case is the easiest way to understand this. Suppose there is an accident at an intersection and the key issue is who had the right of way. Driver A says the light was green. Driver B says light was red. Witness C says the light had just turned yellow. In this situation, there is a genuine issue as to what color the light was and therefore, who had the right of way. It’ll be up to a jury to weigh the evidence and decide who is to blame for the accident.
UPDATED 11/22/13, 3p
Earlier this week, members of the CBA’s Federal Practice Section were informed that the Initial Discovery Protocols in Employment Cases are now being used by all the judges in the district.
Statute of limitations — or, in plain English, the deadline to file a lawsuit — are sometimes able to be used by employers when employees and their counsel file their employment law claims late.
But a recent federal court decision in Connecticut had to look at a fairly novel issue: Did the CHRO mislead the …
Last week, a federal judge in New York ruled that unpaid interns on the movie “Black Swan” should have been paid for their work, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
At 47 pages, U.S. District Court Judge Hall’s decision last week in Costello v. Home Depot USA (download here) denying an employer’s motion for summary judgment in an overtime case, isn’t exactly a light read.
She is, of course, not to blame. The…