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Whistleblower Update: Oral Complaints are Sufficient Basis for Retaliation Claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA)

above-the-bar-logo-no12.jpgOur Overtime Pay Attorneys have been closely following the United States Supreme Court’s consideration of Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, No. 09-834 (2011). On March 22, 2011, the Supreme Court decided that oral and written complaints of unpaid wage, overtime pay or other protected pay practices were a sufficient basis to prove a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. Section 215(a)(3). In Kasten, an employee verbally complained that the location of the Company’s timekeeping systems prevented employees from being paid for all time worked including time spent traveling to and from the timekeeping system. This is a common complaint under the FLSA and is similar to situations where employers refuse to pay employees for time spent putting required uniforms on and off. Thereafter, the employee was disciplined and terminated. The employee sued the employer claiming he was retaliated against because of his verbal complaint. The United States Supreme Court ruled that complaints of protected activity under the FLSA do not need to be in writing. This ruling will increase the number of retaliation cases and provide additional protections to employees. Our Employee Rights Attorneys have represented many employees in whistleblower cases involving overtime pay or unpaid wages.

The Supreme Court’s decision is also a critical reminder for all employers to document and investigate all complaints made by employees. Previously some employers disregarded oral complaints. If you have complained about your employer’s pay practices and believe that you have been retaliated against, call now at (800) 893-9645 to speak with one of our experienced Employee Rights Whistleblower Attorneys. Meet our Lead Employment Attorney.