U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Decide if Oral Complaints Protected Under Labor Law

  • Print

Are workers protected from retaliation when they voice complaints about labor law violations but fail to commit them to writing?

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide the question in the case of Wisconsin factory worker Kevin Kasten, the National Law Journal reports. The case concerns a provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act that protects any employee from retaliation “who has filed any complaint” against an employer.

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. says Kasten was fired for failing to swipe his electronic card as he began and ended work, HR Morning reports. Kasten says the firing was in retaliation for his complaints that the placement of time clocks discouraged employees from swiping in before they donned protective gear.

The Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case that the plain language of the statute meant Kasten had to submit some sort of writing to gain protection.

The case is Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.