Internal Complaints Enough for Retaliation Suit Under FLSA

January 29th, 2012 by JBWK

In a case of first impression, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an internal complaint about an employer’s failure to pay overtime could form the basis of a FLSA retaliation claim.

In Minor v. Bostwick Laboratories, an employee complained to her company’s chief operating officer that employees were not being paid for overtime worked. She was fired soon thereafter. The trial court ruled in the employer’s favor, holding that the intracompany complaint (as opposed to a complaint to a governmental agency or court) could not be the basis for a retaliation lawsuit.

The Fourth Circuit disagreed. It held that an internal complaint was sufficient to trigger protection under the FLSA retaliation provisions.

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