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Pennsylvania District Court Grants Motion to Dismiss in Favor of Defendant in FLSA and PMWA Wage Violation Claim

In Matthews v. BioTelemetry, Inc., the Court found that the facts of the case did not create a plausible inference that Plaintiff was “based in Pennsylvania”, as is required for the application of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”). Matthews v. BioTelemetry, Inc., Civil Action No. 18-561, 2018 WL 3648228 (E.D. Pa. 2018). Plaintiff, a Virginia resident, began working for Defendant in 2011. Plaintiff initially worked as a Cardiac Specialist in Defendant’s Norfolk, Virginia office but was ultimately promoted to Remote Holter Technician in 2017. Although Plaintiff worked in the Norfolk office, Defendant’s principal place of business was in Malvern, PA. In this role, Plaintiff generally worked a total of 47.5 hours per week and occasionally on weekends. For wage purposes, Defendant classified Remote Techs, Plaintiff’s position, as “not eligible to receive overtime pay” while In-Person Techs were entitled to overtime wages. Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging violations of both the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the PMWA for unlawfully failing to pay overtime compensation. Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s PMWA claim.

Defendant contends that Plaintiff was not an employee under the PMWA and specifically argues that independent contractors are distinct from employees and are not entitled to overtime compensation under the PMWA. In addition, Defendant stated that Plaintiff was not “based in Pennsylvania” for purposes of the statute. In deciding whether an individual is “based in Pennsylvania”, the Court employed a five-factor test derived from the Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) which includes examination of: (a) employer’s headquarters; (b) employee’s physical presence; (c) extent of employees contact with Pennsylvania employer; (d) employee’s residence; and (e) employees ability to bring his claim in another forum. Plaintiff made only a few allegations which would enable plausible inference that Plaintiff was based in Pennsylvania for purposes of the PMWA. First, Plaintiff pointed to the agreement he entered into when taking the Remote Tech position which said Pennsylvania law was governing. Second, Plaintiff said he was supervised by the Malvern, PA office. Third, Plaintiff had to report to the Malvern, PA office on occasion. Lastly, Plaintiff had to respond to e-mails that originated from the Malvern, PA office. The Court found that the allegations did not create a plausible inference that Plaintiff was based in Pennsylvania for purposes of the PMWA and thus, granted Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.

Philadelphia employment lawyers at the Law Office of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. have been serving clients throughout Pennsylvania for over 50 years. Our team of dedicated has a long history of successful outcomes in a vast array of varied employment law cases.

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