Whistleblower could sue for overtime claims

A medical technology worker in Virginia was concerned that her supervisor was altering employee time sheets to avoid paying overtime. She met with a company executive to talk about her supervisor’s practices – and was fired the next day.

She sued the company under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal law that governs overtime. The law protects “whistleblowers” against retaliation if they complain about illegal overtime practices.

The employer argued that whistleblowers are protected by the law only if they complain to the government – not if they make an internal complaint to a boss. But the court said the law protects all whistleblowers, even those who keep their complaints within the company.