Two wage-and-hour lawsuits have recently been filed against the retail giant Walmart alleging that assistant store managers in Pennsylvania have not been paid for overtime hours. U.S. District Judge Mark R. Hornak of the Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh denied motions filed by Walmart to dismiss both lawsuits and has allowed discovery to proceed in each case. Judge Hornak also denied the plaintiffs’ request to consolidate the two suits.
One of the Walmart labor lawsuits, brought by former Walmart assistant manager James Paolicelli under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), was filed in February 2014 as a collective action lawsuit which allows for other Walmart assistant managers who are “similarly situated” to opt-in as plaintiffs via written request.
The other suit was filed under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act by former Walmart assistant manager Andrew Swank in August 2013 as a class action lawsuit. Under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, one or more plaintiffs may file a class action lawsuit as a representative of a designated class of people if the class meets the necessary criteria. All members of the class are included as plaintiffs unless a class member chooses to opt-out. In this case the designated class is comprised of roughly 1,600 Walmart assistant managers employed in Pennsylvania.
In their motion for dismissal, Walmart’s attorneys claim that the plaintiff failed to assert that Walmart assistant managers throughout the state work more than 40 hours per week; therefore, the lawsuit could not be certified as a class action pursuant to Rule 23. Walmart’s attorneys also argued that Swank could not possibly have knowledge of the wage-and-hour circumstances of over 1,000 assistant managers throughout Pennsylvania. In a second amended complaint (SAC), the plaintiff claims that Walmart assistant managers throughout Pennsylvania attended training and business meetings at which it was apparent that store operations pertaining to the work of assistant managers were streamlined across the state. Judge Hornak ruled that since the potential for a viable class could not be discounted, the lawsuit will proceed as a class action through the discovery process.
Philadelphia Wage and Overtime Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represent Clients in Class Action and Collective Action Overtime Lawsuits
Philadelphia wage and overtime lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green represent clients in employment lawsuits, including wage and hour claims under the FLSA. Contact Sidkoff, Pincus & Green online or call 215-574-0600.