Insights

Home > News & Insights > Insights > Job Applicant Not “Employee” Under FLSA

Share this on:   a b j c

Job Applicant Not “Employee” Under FLSA

Published by on May 27, 2010

In Dellinger v. Science Applications International Corp., the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held that a job applicant is not considered an “employee” under the FLSA, and thus cannot bring a retaliation claim under the statute.  More after the break. Between 2008 and 2009, the plaintiff, Natalie Dellinger, was employed as […]

In Dellinger v. Science Applications International Corp., the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held that a job applicant is not considered an “employee” under the FLSA, and thus cannot bring a retaliation claim under the statute.  More after the break.

Between 2008 and 2009, the plaintiff, Natalie Dellinger, was employed as an Administrative Assistant for CACI, Inc.  In July 2009, Dellinger filed an FLSA claim against CACI alleging minimum wage and overtime violations.  In the meantime, Dellinger applied for an administrative position with the defendant, SAIC.  SAIC offered her a position in August 2009.  SAIC’s offer was contingent upon verification of Dellinger’s security clearance as well as submission of a government form requesting, among other things, disclosure of any court actions to which Dellinger was a party.  The same day that Dellinger delivered the completed form to SAIC, the company withdrew their offer of employment. 

Dellinger brought suit against SAIC claiming retaliation under the FLSA.  SAIC filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the complaint did not state a claim for retaliation because Dellinger was not an “employee” within the meaning of the statute.  Applying basic principles of statutory construction, the court found that a job applicant was not considered an “employee” based on a plain reading of the statute.  The FLSA defines “employee” as “any individual employed by an employer.”  The term “employ” is further defined as “to suffer or permit to work.”  The court pointed out that Dellinger was never permitted to work for SAIC since her offer of employment was withdraw.  The court therefore granted SAIC’s motion to dismiss, stating that “[w]ithout reading beyond the plain language of the statute, a job applicant cannot be considered an ‘employee.’ ”

Topics:

Share:   a b j c