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Kasten v. Saint- Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., No. 09-834, U.S. Supreme Court (March 22, 2011)

Articles Discussing Case:

ORAL COMPLAINTS CAN PROVIDE BASIS FOR FLSA RETALIATION CLAIM (pdf).

Nexsen Pruet • May 16, 2011
The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) extends to an employee’s oral complaints. The anti-retaliation provision, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3), makes it illegal for an employer “to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to [the FLSA]...” (emphasis added). In Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., 131 S.Ct. 1325 (2011), the Court held that the term “any complaint” includes oral and written complaints. The decision in Kasten continues a recent trend of rulings that have expanded employment-related anti-retaliation laws.

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That FLSA Anti-Retaliation Provision Protects Oral Complaints

Franczek Radelet P.C • March 28, 2011
On March 22, 2011, in a split decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that oral complaints are protected under the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. Although the Court discussed the validity of oral complaints at length, it refused to address whether the FLSA covers such oral complaints made solely to a private employer instead of a government agency.

Supreme Court Finds Oral Complaints Can Form Basis for FLSA Retaliation Suit (pdf).

Ogletree Deakins • March 23, 2011
On March 22, with Justice Stephen Breyer writing for the 6-2 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employee may proceed with his retaliation lawsuit brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the high court, the statutory term "filed any complaint" includes oral, as well as written, complaints. This ruling signals yet another expansion of the anti-retaliation laws.

Supreme Court Defines "Complaint" In Significant Wage-Hour Case.

Fisher Phillips • March 23, 2011
Sometimes cases turn on a single word or phrase, whether those pivotal words are found in a statute, regulation, rule, handbook or an email. It's a rarity that those singular expressions or phrases have as widespread an impact as the words at issue in a Supreme Court decision issued on March 22, 2011. In a 6 -2 ruling (Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of the case), the Supreme Court clarified the meaning of the words "filed any complaint" from the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) anti-retaliation provision. Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.