Here’s one about the Ex Contractu Clause. It relies on Georgia v. Fed. Defender Program, Inc., which I sent in an earlier update.
Recently, in State of Ga. v. Fed. Defender Program, Inc.,11 the Supreme Court of Georgia determined that email exchanges between state agencies and other individuals can create written contracts for the purposes of sovereign immunity waiver under the contract exception.12 Here, DPS transmitted its written offer with a start date and salary to Justice via email, and its agent instructed him to “email me back as receipt and confirmation of your acceptance of this final offer,” indicating that DPS was consenting to conduct business electronically.13 Justice responded that he accepted the offer, and although he did not manually type his name after this response, his name appeared in the “From” field of the email beside his email address that he had been using to correspond with DPS over the course of the application period, and this inclusion of his name is sufficient to constitute a signature for these purposes.14 Moreover, there is no evidence to indicate that the email was sent by anyone other than Justice. Four days later,15 DPS presented to Justice its FLSA Compensatory Time sworn and non-sworn forms concerning the requirement that he work overtime that he then physically signed.
Based on the contemporaneously executed documents exchanged between Justice and DPS, both physical and electronic, we conclude that the parties entered into a contract for at-will employment that included certain FLSA provisions.16 Thus, DPS waived sovereign immunity for Justice’s breach of contract claim related to those agreements, and the trial court erred by finding otherwise.