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Supreme Court Won’t Review FLSA Whistleblower Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will not review an appeals court ruling that a wage and hour complaint lodged by a human resources director can be “protected activity” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as long as he or she is not responsible for compliance with the law.

The director—who was fired for complaining—can continue with her FLSA retaliation claim because her boss insisted that he handle wage and hour compliance instead, held the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year, which covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington (Rosenfield v. GlobalTranz Enterprises, Inc., No. 13-15292 (9th Cir. Dec. 14, 2015)).


Alla Rosenfield worked as an HR director for GlobalTranz Enterprises, Inc. She complained repeatedly to her supervisor that the company had misclassified a large number of employees in violation of the FLSA. Her boss, however, made it clear that he considered himself solely responsible for FLSA compliance and that he did not appreciate her complaints and reports.

After she had lodged numerous complaints, her supervisor eventually agreed to fix the violations. She soon discovered that he had not remedied the problem so she documented the noncompliance and complained again. He fired her 5 days later, according to court documents.

Rosenfield sued, alleging that GlobalTranz fired her for complaining about FLSA violations. The law prohibits an employer from firing or discriminating “against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding … or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding, or has served or is about to serve on an industry committee[.]”

A district court found that Rosenfield had not stepped out of her role as HR director to make the complaint. Because she had, therefore, not “filed any complaint,” as the law requires, the court granted summary judgment for the employer. Rosenfield appealed.

Read on for full details of the case.

The post Supreme Court Won’t Review Flsa Whistleblower Case appeared first on HR Daily Advisor.

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Supreme Court Won’t Review FLSA Whistleblower Case


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