Jackson Lewis previously advised clients and friends of the Health Care Reform Act’s provision requiring employers to provide employees breaks for breastfeeding: http://www.jacksonlewis.com/legalupdates/article.cfm?aid=2016. (Regulations interpreting such requirements are expected to be issued within the next 6 months.)  Also contained in the over two thousand-page enactment is Section 1558, which adds a new Section 18C to the FLSA.  This new FLSA provision prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against any employee who has:

(1) received a credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or a subsidy under section 1402 of this Act; (2) provided, caused to be provided, or is about to provide or cause to be provided to the employer, the Federal Government, or the attorney general of a State information relating to any violation of, or any act or omission the employee reasonably believes to be a violation of, any provision of this title (or an amendment made by this title); (3) testified or is about to testify in a proceeding concerning such violation; (4) assisted or participated, or is about to assist or participate, in such a proceeding; or (5) objected to, or refused to participate in, any activity, policy, practice, or assigned task that the employee (or other such person) reasonably believed to be in violation of any provision of this title (or amendment), or any order, rule, regulation, standard, or ban under this title (or amendment).

Aggrieved current or former employees who assert claims under this provision are entitled to a jury trial.

Employers can expect this cause of action for retaliation to be another tool in the arsenal of Plaintiffs’ lawyers.