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Sapperstein v. Hager

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In Brief

Retaliation claims under the FLSA may lie even where the employer is not covered by the FLSA because it falls short of the $500,000 sales threshold.

What Happened in Court

Sapperstein worked as a mechanic for B&G Cyclery, owned by Robert Hager.  In a complaint filed with the District Court, Sapperstein alleged that B&G had failed to pay him overtime in violation of the FLSA.   B&G filed a motion to dismiss because it was not a “covered employer” under the FLSA.  Specifically, it argued that it did not meet the $500,000 sales threshold required by the statute.  Supporting this contention, B&G filed an affidavit by its manager stating that the company’s yearly revenues for the preceding year were $497,253.  Satisfied with this affidavit, the District Court dismissed Sapperstein’s claims.  On appeal and finding for Sapperstein, the Seventh Circuit held that employers  may not retaliate against employees who raise wage and hour issues even where that employer does not meet the $500,000 threshold.

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