4th Circuit: Job Applicants Not Protected by FLSA’s Retaliation Provisions

August 15th, 2011 by JBWK

In a published opinion released on Friday, the 4th Circuit ruled that a job applicant cannot sue a prospective employer under the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provisions.

Natalie Dellinger sued her former employer, CACI, Inc., for FLSA violations.  While the lawsuit was pending, she disclosed to her prospective employer, SAIC, that she had sued CACI for FLSA violations; SAIC withdrew its employment offer within several days of learning that Dellinger had sued her former employer.  Dellinger then sued SAIC for retaliating against her based on her protected activity of suing her former employer.

The 4th Circuit tossed her claim, ruling that the FLSA doesn’t protect job applicants:

Consistent with the FLSA’s purpose to regulate the employer-employee relationship and the relevant text of the [FLSA], we conclude that only employees can sue their current or former employers for retaliation under the FLSA and that an applicant is not an employee.

The opinion is here.


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