CEO Individually Liable Under FLSA

By Emily Keimig

In a recent Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) case, the court has sent a reminder about individual liability to owners and executives. In this case, the plaintiffs sued a CEO for retaliation under the FLSA – allegedly the CEO had personally prevented the plaintiffs from getting outside jobs as independent contractors. The court ruled the CEO could be held individually liable to the plaintiffs, because (a) the CEO owned 75% of the company, (b) he guided company policy and gave instruction to managers regarding job duties, (c) he negotiated leases and contracts for the company, and (d) he directed the alleged acts of retaliation. Moore v. Appliance Direct, Inc. and Pak, No. 11-15227 (11th Cir. February 13, 2013). Though under many employment laws, company officers and managers cannot be individually liable, under the FLSA, the buck might stop with the owner who controls the business.