Washington Law Review


Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have barred state employees from bringing private suits against their state employers to recover back wages due them as a result of having been paid in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This Comment proposes that the only method by which state employees may protect their FLSA rights on their own behalf is to bring suits against responsible state supervisory personnel in their individual capacities. Although such actions are not barred by sovereign immunity, the potential ability of state agents to invoke a defense of "qualified immunity" would severely impair state employees' ability to protect their FLSA rights. This Comment therefore argues that there is no basis either in the language of the FLSA or at common law for applying the doctrine of qualified immunity to state officers liable for violations of the FLSA.

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