In Rosenfield v. Global Tranz Enterprises (9th Cir. 13-15292 12/14/15), the Ninth Circuit has reversed a district court’s summary judgment in favor of the employer on an employee’s claim under the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Applying the “fair notice” test for deciding whether the employee had “filed any complaint," the panel considered whether, pursuant to Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. (2011) 563 U.S. 1, the complaint was “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.” The Court held that a complaining employee’s position is an important part of the “context” that the fact finder must consider, but the panel declined to formulate or adopt a special bright-line rule to apply when considering whether a manager has “filed any complaint” within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3).
Therefore, the panel held that a jury reasonably could find that the employee filed a complaint, and it reversed the district court’s summary judgment and remanded for further proceedings.
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