Supreme Court Supports Workers in Wage and Hour Decision
March 25, 2011
Our Fullerton, California employment attorneys have been closely watching the U.S. Supreme Court's decision announced this week in the anti-retaliation lawsuit, Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.--a decision that proves to be a huge victory for workers across the country.
According to the original lawsuit, employee Kevin Kasten sued his employer, Sant-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which provides employment rules on minimum wage, overtime pay and maximum hours and prohibits employers from firing employees out of retaliation, for filing a complaint.
Kasten claimed in his retaliation lawsuit that he was discharged from the company after he complained orally about the company's practice of placing timeclocks in an area that kept workers from receiving credit and compensation for the time spend donning and doffing--or taking on and off their protective work gear, as well as walking to work areas. According to the Supreme Court decision, Saint-Gobain was found to have violated the FLSA's wage and hour requirements for the timeclock placement.
The highest court's decision also agreed with the U.S. Department of Labor--that an employee who complains in an oral manner about not receiving payment for all hours worked, as opposed to a complaining in a written manner, is protected from retaliation. This decision will also protect workers who complain orally under a variety of other whistleblower statutes administered by the Department of Labor.
The DOL administers the Fair Labor Standards Act and reportedly filed an amicus brief together with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Solicitor General. This Supreme Court decision also ensures that workers with limited English skills will not be robbed from the opportunity to exercise their employment rights under the FLSA due to their lack of communicating English effectively in writing.
Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., Supreme Court of the United States Syllabus: No. 09-834. Argued October 13, 2010--Decided March 22, 2011
Related Web Resources:
Related Blog Posts:
U.S. Department of Labor's Agreement with Tyson Foods on "Donning and Doffing" Lawsuit Influences Future Wage and Hour Rights, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 4, 2010
FLSA "Donning and Doffing" Wage and Hour Rights, California Employment Lawyers Blog, May 18 2010