Badel Quoted On Ruling That Verbal Complaints Lack FLSA Protection

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Julie Badel, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice in the Chicago office, was quoted in an article on a controversial decision by a federal appellate court that complaints brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act must be in writing to be protected from retaliation.

The article, "FLSA: Attorneys Debate Finding That Verbal FLSA Complaints Aren't Protected From Retaliation," reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Perf. Plastics Corp., held that the plaintiff did not engage in "protected" activity under the FLSA because he only complained orally to management about alleged wage and hour violations.

Badel said the ruling clarifies what constitutes a formal complaint subject to the retaliation clause of the FLSA: "The practical result is that this will end a lot of disputes over whether an employee made a complaint," she said.

Badel added that the FLSA does not require employers to have specific procedures in place to show that they are taking proper action in response to oral complaints.