In a recent court of appeals decision out of the Fourth Circuit, the court
determined that while current and former employees are entitled to protection from
retaliation under the
Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA, prospective employees are not entitled to the same protection.
Dellinger v. Science Applications International, the 4th Circuit evaluated a woman’s claim that she had been subject
to retaliation. Here, Natalie Dellinger applied for a position at Science
Applications International Corporation. Dellinger was offered the job
with certain conditions such as passing a drug test and completing a security
clearance. After she disclosed her lawsuit against a previous employer
based on wage and hour violations, including minimum wage and
overtime violations, her job offer was withdrawn.
Dellinger then filed n a lawsuit under the FLSA, alleging that she had
been the victim of retaliation. The 4th Circuit denied Dellinger’s
claim, finding that the FLSA’s protection against retaliation applies
only to current employees, and as a result prospective employees cannot
sue potential employers for retaliation. The Court focused on the nature
of the “employee/employer” relationship, stating “[T]he
anti-retaliation provision was meant to ensure that employees could sue
to obtain minimum wages and maximum hours from their employers without
the employers taking adverse action against them for the exercise of those
Although the retaliation provisions of the FLSA were not extended to prospective
employees, the court also noted its desire not to enable future employers
to discriminate against employees for exercising their rights under the FLSA.
Wage and hour laws are extremely complex and may allow you to bring a
lawsuit under many circumstances. As
Georgia employment lawyers, we will follow this decision and determine how it may impact worker’s
rights. If you believe you have been retaliated against or have not received
all the compensation you are entitled to, please contact the
Atlanta wage and hour lawyers The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for a confidential consultation.