Let’s assume that you filed a grievance claiming two hours of overtime pay for the time a manager had you stay a “little late” during the pay period to get some work out.  When the supervisor responded to the grievance, she not only denied it but also began harassing you for nitpicking, not being a team player, and coming out as anti-management. That led to a lot of emotional stress, even a visit to a doctor for anti-anxiety medication.  While it is too early to tell if this concept will get picked up in the federal sector, the federal circuit courts seem to be supporting the idea that an employee can get compensated for emotional distress flowing from FLSA-related retaliation.  Both sides of the table should keep this idea in mind if they confront an FLSA retaliation case. The agency needs to figure these damages into its potential liability, and the employee needs to pursue every right s/he has or might have even if filing a retaliation grievance.  Check out this story from the law firm on Ogletree Deakins on the evolution of this precedent, “Fifth Circuit Joins Growing List of Circuit Courts, Holds Employees Can Recover for Emotional Distress in FLSA Retaliation Claims.” Then talk with professional legal counsel if a potential situation arises.

About AdminUN

FEDSMILL staff has over 40 years of federal sector labor relations experience on the union as well as management side of the table and even some time as a neutral.
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