In Brunozzi v. Cable Communications, Inc., a cable installation technician verbally complained to his immediate supervisors on several occasions that the company’s overtime formula, which was calculated using piece-rate wages, did not compensate him properly. His final complaint was made two days before he was terminated. The technician sued the company for violating federal and state overtime laws and for unlawful retaliation under ORS 659A.199 based on his internal complaints. ORS 659A.199, enacted in 2009, prohibits a private employer from retaliating against an employee who has, in good faith, “reported information that the employee believes is evidence of a violation of state or federal law.”
In an issue of first impression, the Ninth Circuit considered whether the statute protects internal reports to supervisors as well as external reports to authorities. Noting that the language of the statute is broad and places no limit on the individual to whom the employee’s information must be reported, the court held that the Oregon legislature intended to provide whistleblower protections for good faith reports of violations of law to either an external or internal authority.
In light of this decision, employers should be extremely cautious when disciplining employees who have lodged qualifying internal complaints or reports.
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Las Alertas electrónicas son escritas por abogados de Barran Liebman para sus clientes y amigos. Las Alertas no son proveídas como asesoramiento legal, sino solo como anuncios de leyes de empleo, leyes laborales y beneficios de empleo. Si esto ha sido remetido a usted y quisieras empezar a recibir las Alertas directamente, por favor mándanos un correo electrónico o llama a Traci Ray al 503-276-2115. Derechos de autor ©2017 por Barran Liebman LLP.