Christian Nolan reports:
A few years ago, Bridgeport, Conn., city fire inspectors Frank Gerardi and Stephen Vitka spent most of their workday visiting friends, doughnut shops or even working on their rental properties rather than inspecting buildings for fire code violations.
Or at least that’s what city officials believed.
But nobody really knew for sure until after the Bridgeport’s fire chief, unbeknownst to them, placed global positioning system tracking devices in their vehicles.
Gerardi and Vitka filed a lawsuit against the city of Bridgeport, claiming officials had violated a state statute that prohibits an employer from electronically monitoring an employee’s activities without prior notice given. They sought temporary and permanent injunctive relief as well as money damages.
However, then-Bridgeport Superior Court Judge Deborah Kochiss Frankel ruled against the inspectors, granting motions filed by the city to dismiss the suits on the grounds that the men didn’t exhaust available administrative remedies.
The fire inspectors appealed and in a decision released last week, the state Supreme Court unanimously upheld the trial court’s decision.
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