United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Employment – FLSA — retaliation
Where an employee who complained about the location of time clocks was terminated, summary judgment was improperly granted to the employer on the employee’s FLSA claim.
“The district court correctly determined that at the summary judgment stage, Kasten is entitled to a finding that Saint-Gobain had fair notice of Kasten’s assertion of rights. Kasten alleges that he complained about the location of the time clocks on at least five separate occasions and that he notified his supervisors that he was contemplating bringing a lawsuit which he thought Saint-Gobain would lose. See EEOC v. Romeo Community Schools, 976 F.2d 985, 989 (6th Cir. 1992) (finding protected activity where an employee alleged that employer was ‘breaking some sort of law’). Such allegations must be credited at this stage. Further, during this time period Saint-Gobain’s management was discussing the legality of the time clock location and acknowledged in emails that it might need to move them to insure compliance with wage and hour laws and compensate employees for time spent donning and doffing. In light of these facts, which must be viewed in the light most favorable to Kasten at the summary judgment stage, we conclude that a reasonable employer in Saint- Gobain’s position would have received fair notice that Kasten was asserting rights under the FLSA. Accordingly, Kasten engaged in protected activity for purposes of his retaliation claim. We decline Saint Gobain’s invitation to affirm summary judgment on these grounds.”
Reversed and Remanded.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Crabb, J., Flaum, J.