U.S. Supreme Court
The plaintiff filed suit against his former employer under the FLSA after he was terminated for violating the employer’s time-clock-punching policy. The suit alleged that he was terminated in retaliation for his oral complaints, to supervisors and human resources personnel, that the placement of the time clock was illegal. The district court granted summary judgment to the employer, holding that, although intra-company written complaints could form the basis for a retaliation claim, oral complaints could not. The Seventh Circuit affirmed (585 F.3d 310). While acknowledging a division of authority on the issue, the court of appeals reasoned that the term “filed” implies a written complaint and that oral complaints therefore could not support a cause of action.
Status: DECIDED. Amicus brief filed in support of employer on 08/23/10. Oral argument set for 10/13/10. Court found in favor of plaintiff on 3/1/11.