Recently, the Supreme Court interpreted the complaint provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which deals with minimum wage and overtime. 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. In Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Perf. Plastics Corp., the Court addressed the phrase "filed any complaint" and determined that this included oral, as well as written, complaints.
Robert Hendricks v. Total Quality Logistics LLC, Case No. 1:10-cv-649 (S.D. Ohio, March 11, 2011): Plaintiffs consisted of a group of former employees who claim they were not paid overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Ohio wage law. The plaintiffs asserted class action status under the Ohio wage law and a collective action under the FLSA. The defendant moved to dismiss the state class action claim because it would work an "end-around" the FLSA's opt-in requirement. As explained by the defendant, the FLSA expressly prohibits a plaintiff from asserting a FLSA claim for overtime compensation on behalf of a class of similarly-situated employees who fail to opt into the claim. On the other hand, the Ohio class action claim includes similarly-situated persons who fail to opt out of the Ohio class but refuse to opt into the FLSA claim. Defendants contend that permitting plaintiffs to assert both types of claims thwarts the Congressional intent in creating the opt-in requirement for the FLSA. Plaintiffs, however, cite to multiple decisions where federal courts permitted both Fair Labor Standards Act opt-in claims and state law wage opt-out claims to proceed in the same action.