Rosenfield v. GlobalTranz Enters., Inc., 2015 WL 8599403 (9th Cir. 2015)

Alla Rosenfield, who worked as the Director of Human Resources and Corporate Training for GlobalTranz, was fired after she lodged multiple oral and written internal complaints that the company was not in compliance with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In this lawsuit, she alleges that she was terminated in violation of the anti retaliation provision of the FLSA (29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3)) as well as Arizona state law. The district court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that Rosenfield was not entitled to the protections of the statute because she had not “filed any complaint” as required by the law. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the company understood Rosenfield’s “interactions” with the company to be “complaints” on the subject of FLSA compliance and because “FLSA compliance was not part of [her] portfolio, her advocacy for the rights of employees to be paid in accordance with the FLSA could not reasonably have been understood (if it was) merely to be part of [her] regular duties” as a manager.