Being the HR Director – A Potential Whistleblower Under the FLSA & IL Law?

An HR Director who reported illegal conduct to the CFO regarding the misclassification of IT Technicians as exempt has stated a claim for retaliation and wrongful discharge under the FLSA and Illinois law.  In Kavanagh v CDS Office Systems Inc dba CDS Office Technologies, Inc, January 3, 2014, the federal district court judge ruled that her complaints were protected activity under both federal and state law.  Importantly, the court ruled that her talking to the CFO about misclassification was a “complaint” for purposes of engaging in protected activity, notwithstanding her job as the HR Director.  The Court found it a reasonable inference that researching FLSA compliance was outside of her normal job duties, and thus may move forward with her claims.  The Court also rejected the employer’s argument that the retaliatory discharge claim under Illinois law should be dismissed based on the existence of a federal remedy.

When you receive a complaint from an employee, the employment law attorneys at McMahon Berger are able to assist you in navigating the difficult compliance waters under federal and state law.  When it comes to retaliatory discharge claims or compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the employment law attorneys at McMahon Berger have experience in helping employers with these complicated issues.  Please feel free to learn more about us at www.mcmahonberger.com, or contact us if you would like to talk to a St. Louis labor & employment law attorney.

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