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Paper on KASTEN v. SAINT-GOBAIN PERFORMANCE PLASTICS CORP.

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Createan 8- to 10-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation in which your team members summarize how the legal concepts in the selected case can be applied within a business managerial setting.

 NEED A INTRO, CONCLUSION AND 2 SLIDES USING THE ANALYSIS PORTION OF THE IRAC METHOD ONLY INCLUDING SPEAKER NOTES.

REFERENCES MUST BE CITED IN APA FORMAT


KASTEN v. SAINT-GOBAIN PERFORMANCE PLASTICS
CORP.

53 U.S. ___ (2011)

Petitioner Kasten brought an antiretaliation
suit

against his former employer, respondent (Saint-

Gobain), under the Fair Labor Standards Act of
1938

(Act), which provides minimum wage, maximum
hour,

and overtime pay rules; and which forbids
employers

“to discharge . . . any employee because such
employee

[continued]

has filed any complaint” alleging a violation of
the

Act, 29 U. S. C. §215(a)(3). In a related suit,
the District

Court found that Saint-Gobain violated the Act

by placing timeclocks in a location that
prevented

workers from receiving credit for the time they
spent

donning and doffing work related protective
gear.

In this suit Kasten claims that he was
discharged

because he orally complained to company
officials

about the timeclocks. The District Court granted

Saint-Gobain summary judgment, concluding that
the

Act’s antiretaliation provision did not cover
oral complaints.

The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Justice Breyer

delivered the opinion of the Court in which
Chief Justice

Roberts, and Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Alito

and Sotomayor joined. Justice Scalia filed a
dissenting

opinion in which Justice Thomas joined in part.
Justice

Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision
of

the case.

BREYER, J.: The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

(Act) sets forth employment rules concerning
minimum

wages, maximum hours, and overtime pay. 52

Stat. 1060, 29 U. S. C. §201 et seq. The Act
contains an

antiretaliation provision that forbids employers

“to discharge or in any other manner
discriminate

against any employee because such employee has

filed any complaint or instituted or caused to
be

instituted any proceeding under or related to
[the

Act], or has testified or is about to testify in
such

proceeding, or has served or is about to serve
on an

industry committee.” §215(a)(3) (emphasis
added).

We must decide whether the statutory term “filed
any

complaint” includes oral as well as written
complaints

within its scope. We conclude that it does.

I The petitioner, Kevin Kasten, brought this
antiretaliation

lawsuit against his former employer, Saint-

Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation. Kasten

says that where Kasten and other workers put on
(and

take off) their work-related protective gear and
the

area where they carry out their assigned tasks.
That

location prevented workers from receiving credit
for

the time they spent putting on and taking off
their

work clothes—contrary to the Act’s requirements.
In

a related suit the District Court agreed with
Kasten,

finding that Saint-Gobain’s “practice of not
compensating

. . . for time spent donning and doffing certain

required protective gear and walking to work
areas”

violated the Act. Kasten v. Saint-Gobain
Performance

Plastics Corp., 556 F. Supp. 2d 941, 954 (WD
Wis.

2008). In this suit Kasten claims unlawful
retaliation.

He says that Saint-Gobain discharged him because
he

orally complained to Saint-Gobain officials
about the

timeclocks.

In particular, Kasten says that he repeatedly
called

the unlawful timeclock location to
Saint-Gobain’s

attention— in accordance with Saint-Gobain’s
internal

grievance resolution procedure. See Brief for
Petitioner

4 (quoting Saint-Gobain’s Code of Ethics and
Business

Conduct as imposing upon every employee “the
responsibility

to report . . . suspected violations of . . .
any

applicable law of which he or she becomes
aware”); id.,

at 4–5 (quoting Saint-Gobain’s Employee Policy
Handbook

as instructing employees with “questions,
complaints,

and problems” to“[c]ontact” their “supervisor[s]

immediately” and if necessary “take the issue to
the

next level of management,” then to the “local
Human

Resources Manager,” then to “Human Resources”
personnel

at the “Regional” or “Headquarters” level).

Kasten adds that he “raised a concern” with his

shift supervisor that “it was illegal for the
time clocks

to be where they were” because of Saint-Gobain’s

exclusion of “the time you come in and start
doing

stuff”; he told a human resources employee that
“if

they were to get challenged on” the location in
court,

“they would lose”; he told his lead operator
that the

location was illegal and that he “was thinking
about

starting a lawsuit about the placement of the
time

clocks”; and he told the human resources manager

and the operations manager that he thought the
location

was illegal and that the company would “lose” in

court. Record in No. 3:07–cv–00686–bbc (WD
Wis.),

Doc.87–3, pp. 31–34 (deposition of Kevin
Kasten).

This activity, Kasten concludes, led the company
to

discipline him and, in December 2006, to dismiss
him.

Saint-Gobain presents a different version of
events.

It denies that Kasten made any significant
complaint

about the timeclock location. And it says that
it dismissed

Kasten simply because Kasten, after being

repeatedly warned, failed to record his comings
and

goings on the timeclock.

For present purposes we accept Kasten’s version

of these contested events as valid. See Scott v.
Harris,

550 U. S. 372, 380 (2007). That is because the
District

Court entered summary judgment in Saint-Gobain’s

favor. . . . Kasten sought certiorari. And in
light of

conflict among the Circuits as to whether an
oral complaint

is protected, we granted Kasten’s petition. . .
.

The sole question presented is whether “an oral
complaint

of a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act”

is “protected conduct under the [Act’s] anti-retaliation

provision.” Pet. for Cert. i. The Act protects
employees

who have “filed any complaint,” 29 U. S. C.
§215(a)(3),

and interpretation of this phrase “depends upon
reading

the whole statutory text, considering the
purpose

and context of the statute, and consulting any

precedents or authorities that inform the
analysis,”

[continued]

693

[continued]

Dolan v. Postal Service, 546 U. S. 481, 486
(2006).

This analysis leads us to conclude that the
language of

the provision, considered in isolation, may be
open to

competing interpretations. But considering the
provision

in conjunction with the purpose and context
leads

us to conclude that only one interpretation is
permissible.

We begin with the text of the statute. The word

“filed” has different relevant meanings in
different contexts.

. . .The bottom line is that the text, taken
alone,

cannot provide a conclusive answer to our
interpretive

question. The phrase “filed any complaint”
might, or

might not, encompass oral complaints. We must
look

further. . . .

Why would Congress want to limit the enforcement

scheme’s effectiveness by inhibiting use of the
Act’s

complaint procedure by those who would find it
difficult

to reduce their complaints to writing,
particularly

illiterate, less educated, or overworked
workers? . . .

In the years prior to the passage of the Act,
illiteracy

rates were particularly high among the poor. . .
.

To limit the scope of the antiretaliation
provision to

the filing of written complaints would also take
needed

flexibility from those charged with the Act’s
enforcement.

It could prevent Government agencies from

using hotlines, interviews, and other oral
methods of

receiving complaints. . . . To fall within the
scope of

the antiretaliation provision, a complaint must
be sufficiently

clear and detailed for a reasonable employer

to understand it, in light of both content and
context,

as an assertion of rights protected by the
statute and

a call for their protection. This standard can
be met,

however, by oral complaints, as well as by
written

ones. . . .

Second, given Congress’ delegation of
enforcement

powers to federal administrative agencies, we

also give a degree of weight to their views
about the

meaning of this enforcement language. . . . The
Secretary

of Labor has consistently held the view that

the words “filed any complaint” cover oral, as
well

as written, complaints. . . . The EEOC has set
forth

a similar view in its Compliance Manual . . .
These

agency views are reasonable. They are consistent
with

the Act. . . . We conclude that the Seventh
Circuit erred

in determining that oral complaints cannot fall
within

the scope of the phrase “filed any complaint” in
the

Act’s antiretaliation provision. We leave it to
the lower

courts to decide whether Kasten will be able to
satisfy

the Act’s notice requirement. We vacate the
Circuit’s

judgment and remand the case for further
proceedings


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