Apparently one way to get bloggers to notice a plastics company is to have a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Who knew? Blogs that specialize in employers' law are full of details and opinion today concerning Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., The Supreme Court listened to oral arguments in the case yesterday. According to the suit, Kevin Kasten worked in Saint-Gobain's Portage, Wis., plant until he was suspended, and then fired, for failing to follow the company's policy for punching in on a time clock. Kasten's suit alleges that he was discharged in retaliation for making oral complaints to his superiors that the placement of time clocks violated the Fair Labor Standards Act -- essentially, that the location of the clocks prevented employees from being paid for time spent donning and doffing their required protective gear. Some bloggers seem to feel the court will rule with Saint-Gobain, because Kasten's complaints were oral, not written. They point to comments by Justice Samuel Alito, among others: "If [making an oral complaint is covered by] the law and the employee gets fired and the employee says, well, this was done in retaliation for my having filed an FSLA complaint three weeks ago, and the employer says what complaint? We have no record of any such complaint and the employee says, oh, yes, I said it orally to a supervisor who was passing by and my buddy Joe was there and he's going to corroborate this. So now we have a trial about whether a complaint was filed?"
The Plastics Blog
Supreme Court considers dispute with plastics firm
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