Greathouse v. JHS Sec., Inc., No. 12-4521 (2d Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Greathouse filed a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 215(a)(3), 216, alleging that when he orally complained to his supervisor (Wilcox) that he had not received the pay he was due as a security guard, Wilcox responded, “I’ll pay you when I feel like it,” and, without warning, drew a gun and pointed it at Greathouse. Greathous understood that response as ending his employment. Greathouse obtained a default judgment, but the district court declined to award damages, based on precedent holding that making an informal oral complaint to a supervisor did not amount to “fil[ing a] complaint” and was not protected by the statute. The Second Circuit vacated, based on the Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in Kasten v. Saint‐Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., that an oral complaint can serve as a predicate to an FLSA retaliation claim.