Filed in April, 2007, the day of reckoning draws near for employment this employment class action before U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery (D. Minn.). The jury trial is noticed for January 11, 2011 (memorably 1/1/11) at 8:45 a.m. The plaintiffs’ employment class action firm of Nichols Kaster goes up against Minnesota Litigator’s former colleagues at Dorsey & Whitney for Qwest.
Plaintiffs’ statement of the case is quite short, simple, and straight-forward. Qwest, they allege, set up a working system, a set of standards and expectations, that required workers to work “off the clock” to meet their employer’s standards and, on this basis, plaintiffs allege that Qwest violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Qwest’s defense, substantially longer in its statement of the case, is, however, no more complicated. In sum, the defense is, “Not.” That is, Qwest alleges it did not set up a system that more or less required its employees to work unpaid overtime and, if workers were, in fact, working overtime and not requesting overtime pay, Qwest had no reason to know of this and, as a matter of fact, did not know of it.
So, which is it and who will decide? A jury. A jury picked from a group of peers who will answer a questionnaire. (Under penalty of perjury, among many other questions (“identify your bumper stickers,” is one), prospective jurors are asked, “Have you ever felt unfairly treated by a supervisor?”)
(IMHO, anyone who has worked for a supervisor for more than a few days should probably answer yes to this question or be stricken for cause as a perjurer except, possibly, any priests, ministers, imams, or rabbis in the jury pool.)