Oral Complaint

The Second Circuit agrees–an oral complaint to a supervisor may support a retaliation complaint under the FLSA

Posted on May 22, 2015 by Elaine I. Hogan

Back in 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that an oral complaint can serve as the grounds for a retaliation claim under the FLSA. See Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., 131 S. Ct. 1325 (2011). But in Kasten, the oral complaint was made to a government agency and so the question still remained—what about an oral complaint to a supervisor? In a recent decision, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals joined other circuits (including the Fourth Circuit) and decided that yes, even an oral complaint to a supervisor can provide the foundation for a retaliation claim under the FLSA—as long as it is sufficiently clear and detailed for a reasonable employer to understand it as an assertion of rights protected by the statute and a call for their protection. Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc., No. 12-4521 (April 20, 2015).…

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