Supreme Court extends FLSA Anti-Retaliation Provision to Include Oral Complaints

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court held that not only are written complaints protected under the FLSA retaliation provision, but also oral complaints. The decision, split 6-2 in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., prohibits employers from discharging employees because the employee filed a complaint, written or otherwise.

The decision highlights the controversy surrounding the word “filed.” The Supreme Court decided that, when the FLSA was enacted, it was intended to include any complaints filed in any manner, due in large part to the high illiteracy rates of those most affected by FLSA violations.

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