In January 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hours Division released three new fact sheets on unlawful retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Act (FMLA), and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA). The fact sheets provide a good reminder for any employer regarding the scope of anti-retaliation
provisions that are provided within the three regulations.
Fact Sheet #77A provides general information concerning the FLSA’s prohibition of retaliating against any employee who has filed a complaint or cooperated in an investigation. The Fact Sheet reminds employers that an employee who files a complaint under the FLSA is protected from retaliation regardless of whether the complaint was made orally or in writing. The Fact Sheet also states that the anti-retaliation provision of the FLSA applies even in situations where there is no current employment relationship; for example, former employees are also protected from retaliation.
Fact Sheet #77B provides general information concerning the FMLA’s prohibition of retaliation against an individual for exercising his or her rights protected under the FMLA. The Fact Sheet provides examples of prohibited conduct, which include: discouraging an employee from using FMLA leave, manipulating an employee’s work hours to avoid responsibilities under the FMLA, and counting FMLA leave as absences under “no fault” attendance policies.
Fact Sheet #77C provides general information concerning the MSPA’s prohibition of discrimination against a migrant or seasonal agricultural worker who has filed a complaint or participated in any proceeding under the MSPA. The MSPA applies
to agricultural employers, agricultural associations, and farm labor contractors who engage in at least one of the following activities: furnishing, employing, soliciting, hiring, or transporting one or more migrant or seasonal agricultural workers. 02.12.2012