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Indiana justices asked to answer question under Common Construction Wage Act

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U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to answer a certified question that arose in a pay dispute between a Fort Wayne electrician and Indianapolis-based Gaylor Inc.

Joshua Lewis claims that Gaylor failed to pay him the appropriate wage rate set for work he performed on the Purdue University Grounds Maintenance Facility, the Logansport Library, and other jobs. His suit alleges Gaylor intentionally exerted unauthorized control over his the wages and benefits he earned under the Common Construction Wage Act and the Davis-Bacon Act.

On Sept. 21, Barker adopted the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation on Lewis’ federal statutory claim, but stayed a ruling on the state claim until the Supreme Court gave guidance as to whether Lewis has a private cause of action under the CCWA. The magistrate judge recommended dismissing the state claim.
 
Barker sent the following question to the justices on Sept. 21:

“Given the holdings by the United States Supreme Court in Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677 (1979) and Universities Research Association, Inc. v. Coutu, 450 U.S. 754 (1981), and the subsequent decisions interpreting those decisions, all of which superseded the Seventh Circuit’s decision in McDaniel v. University of Chicago, 548 F.2d 689 (7th Cir. 1977); as well as the Indiana Court of Appeals decision in Stampco Construction Co., Inc. v. Guffey, 572 N.E.2d 510 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991), which in a divided opinion relied on McDaniel; and given the absence of any ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court on issues raised therein: Does Indiana’s Common Construction Wage Act, IND. CODE § 5-16-7 et seq., permit or in some other fashion give rise to a private cause of action?”

The case is Joshua S. Lewis v. Gaylor Inc., 1:11-CV-01421, the Indianapolis Division of the Southern District of Indiana.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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