Category: Wage and Hour Disputes

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: Rest Breaks for Non-Exempt Employees Should be Paid

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The US Department of Labor filed suit against an employer in Perez v American Future Systems, INC. d/b/a Progressive Business Publications, claiming the employer unlawfully required non-exempt sales employees working in their call center to log off and not be paid for any break time taken by the employees during the work day. These include rests and bathroom breaks that only last a few minutes at the most. The employer’s policy permits employees to take “personal breaks at any time for any reason, but these breaks were unpaid. Any time by the employee not spent working, regardless of the length of the break was to be unpaid.

The court supported its decision finding a Department of Labor regulation on the issue to be persuasive. This regulation essentially stated that rest periods of short length are common in the industry and promote efficiency. The regulation further stated these types of breaks are normally paid for and considered as hours worked. This decision is important because it puts employers on notice that these short breaks should be considered hours worked and warns employers they can be liable in the event they try to discourage employees from taking such breaks.

For more information or to discuss a wage and hour issue, call Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.

Philadelphia Wage and Hour Lawyers: Lawsuit Against Merck for Unpaid Overtime

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Pharmaceutical giant, Merck & Co., is currently involved in an employment class action lawsuit for allegedly violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. The plaintiffs include 26 full time employees from the company’s pilot plant in Rahway, New Jersey. The lawsuit claims that the employees were not compensated for the extra 45 minutes they were required to work every day before their shift officially started. In addition, the company allegedly retaliated against the employees’ complaints by threatening to close the plant and take further disciplinary actions against the employees if they continued to protest the unpaid work.

The lawsuit alleges that the overtime work responsibilities were exactly the same as those performed during the regular shift, and that the additional 45 minutes per day added up to 3.75 hours per week of unpaid overtime work.

Philadelphia Wage and Hour Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represents Employees in Overtime Claims Lawsuits

The Fair Labor Standards Act, and other state laws, protect employees’ rights to receive compensation for overtime hours worked. If your rights have been violated by your employer and you have not received the payment you deserve for hours worked, contact Philadelphia wage and hour lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green so that we may examine the details of your case and pursue the best course of action on your behalf. For a confidential consultation, call our offices at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.



Philadelphia Wage and Hour Lawyers Discuss Lawsuit Filed Against Movie Company for Minimum Wage Violations

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A Montgomery County resident and former employee of Movie Tavern Partners filed a class action lawsuit against the company citing minimum wage violations. The ex-employee filed for herself and on behalf of other employees who were treated similarly. The lawsuit cites violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.

According to details of the complaint, the plaintiff worked as a runner for the company’s Collegeville location from March to August of 2014. The suit says that because the company applied a tip credit against their wages, they were not paid the mandated minimum wage for the hours they worked.

The law states that an employer may pay its employees less than minimum wage if the customer tips combined with the tip credit wage equals at least minimum wage. The employer must also make the employees aware of its intention to pay a tip credit wage so that the employees are aware of what their salary will be. According to the lawsuit, the company did not notify its employees, and they only paid the tip credit wage.

The class action lawsuit seeks unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, liquidated damages, attorney fees, court costs and other costs that the court deems appropriate.

Philadelphia wage and hour lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. provide experienced, dedicated legal counsel for employees experiencing wage and hour issues and violations of the FLSA by their employer. For more information, call our Philadelphia FLSA lawyers at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.

Philadelphia Wage and Hours Lawyers Discuss Proposed Changes to FLSA

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The Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing an update to the regulations surrounding which white collar workers should be entitled to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime protections. Overtime eligibility that was previously meant for high-earning employees such as executive, administrators and professionals could now apply to employees with salaries in the low to mid 20 thousands. The proposed regulation could be promising news for hard-working Americans who deserve to be fairly compensated for their hard work.

The proposed changes to overtime regulations proposed by DOL include setting the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of weekly pay for full-time, salaried employees. According to data from 2013, this would amount to $921 per week. The DOL estimates that the 2016 level would be approximately $970 a week. In addition, the DOL is suggesting that high level earners annual compensation level be set to equal the 90th percentile of earnings. The DOL also proposes to automatically updating salary levels annually in order to prevent the salary level requirement from becoming outdated.

If you are involved in an FLSA dispute or believe you have been denied overtime, our Philadelphia wage and hours lawyers at the Law Offices of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green can help you navigate the complexities of the proposed changes to the FLSA law. For professional, dedicated, aggressive legal representation, us at 215-574-0600 or submit an online contact form.  Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Overtime Lawyers: The Fair Labor Standards Act

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) was enacted in 1938 in an effort to regulate the work environment.  The FLSA requires employers to pay employees for all hours worked.  Additionally, if an employee works in excess of forty hours in a workweek, the FLSA requires the employer to pay the employee a rate of at least one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.  However, the FLSA does not apply to all employees; some employees are exempt.  Many states, including Pennsylvania, have laws which parallel the FLSA.

In order to calculate the correct amount of hours an employee worked, it is important to determine what activities constitute “work” and when the workday starts.  This is of particular importance for employees who: work from home, travel, are required to wear protective equipment or clothing, or need to take preliminary steps so that they can perform their job. Employers who violate the FLSA can be liable for damages for unpaid overtime, liquidated damages, reasonable attorneys fees and costs, and criminal penalties.

For more information, call Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.

Philadelphia Wage and Hour Lawyers: Bob Evans Facing Overtime Claims

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Bob Evans Farms may be required to pay as much as $20 million in back overtime pay to assistant managers as the result of three wage and hour lawsuits filed against the restaurant chain.  Bob Evans assistant managers claim that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by forcing them to work upwards of 45-50 hours per week at a flat salary while performing the same duties as hourly employees.

In the first class-action lawsuit, filed in 2012 by David Snodgrass, a judge ruled that any overtime awarded to the plaintiffs would be paid at one and a half times an employee’s hourly rate for all time exceeding 40 hours per week.  According to Bob Evans Farms’ annual report, if the other two cases are decided in favor of the plaintiffs, the company could owe close to $20 million.  This would be a huge financial blow to Bob Evans, which lost nine million dollars last quarter and was forced to cut more than 60 headquarters positions.

The FLSA determines whether or not employees are eligible for overtime pay.  Employees in supervisory roles may be improperly classified as exempt from overtime if their managerial responsibilities are only a minimal part of their job.  Philadelphia wage and hour lawyers at the Law Offices of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green routinely represent clients in FLSA and overtime disputes.  For professional, effective legal representation in Philadelphia, submit an online contact form or call our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green at 215-574-0600.

Philadelphia Overtime Lawyers: Fracking Water Transportation Falls Under FLSA Overtime Rules

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Employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a given workweek at a rate of atleast one and a half times their regular rates of pay.

This month, U.S. District Judge Malachy E. Mannion of the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled in Mazzarella v. Fast Rig Support that truck drivers delivering fracking water to gas drilling rigs within the state are covered by the FLSA and must receive overtime pay in accordance with FLSA guidelines.

After working more than 45 hours a week without receiving overtime pay, the employees of FAST Rig Support, LLC and First Americans Shipping and Trucking Co. filed an FLSA and Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act claim earlier this year. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the claims, arguing that the Motor Carrier Act, which provides exemptions from FLSA regulations, governs work performed by the plaintiffs.

In his ruling, Judge Mannion stated that the plaintiffs effectively pleaded a claim for violations of the overtime provisions of the FLSA and that “defendants have not shown that the motor carrier exemption applies sufficiently to justify dismissal”. Peter Winebrake, counsel for the more than 40 plaintiffs, believes this ruling represents a significant development that will have a broader impact on labor standards in Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia employment lawyers for FLSA at Sidkoff, Pincus and Green P.C.  represent clients in all matters of employment law including wage and hour disputes, FLSA violations, overtime claims and more.  Our Philadelphia business lawyers are highly skilled in trial litigation and complex negotiationsContact Sidkoff, Pincus and Green online or call today at 215-574-0600.

Philadelphia Wage and Hour Lawyers: FLSA Overtime Lawsuit

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A Third Circuit judge ruled in March that a driver for Eastern Armored Services Inc., who filed a collective action lawsuit against her employer, is entitled to collect overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The plaintiff claimed that her employer had improperly classified her as ineligible for overtime pay under the Motor Carrier Act (MCA) Exemption of the FLSA.  The MCA exemption applies to drivers of commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs. and other employees whose maximum hours of work are determined by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

The Third Circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiff who claimed that she was eligible for overtime pay under the 2008 Corrections Act which deems motor carrier employees who drive vehicles weighing less than 10,000 lbs., during part or all of their working hours, eligible for overtime.  The plaintiff in this case spent 51% of her working days in a vehicle weighing more than 10,000 lbs. and 49% of her total days working in a vehicle weighing less than 10,000 lbs.

Philadelphia overtime lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green are a team of highly skilled litigators representing clients in wage and hour disputes, collective action, and class action lawsuits.  Contact Sidkoff, Pincus & Green online or call 215-574-0600 to discuss your employment law case with a reputable Philadelphia wage and hour lawyer.

Philadelphia Wage and Hour Lawyers: Walmart Violation of Minimum Wage Laws

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A federal judge ruled in May that Walmart’s pay policies regarding truck drivers violate California labor laws. Walmart truck drivers filed a lawsuit claiming that they were not paid at least minimum wage for all time spent working. According to Walmart’s pay policies, truck drivers are paid by mileage and activity; however, drivers are not compensated hourly for time spent during inspections, rest breaks, fueling, weighing cargo, and completing paperwork.

Walmart contends that drivers were compensated by discretionary pay for other activities and that the company is not required to pay truck drivers for layover time because drivers are not under Walmart’s control during layovers. US District Judge Susan Illston ruled that drivers are under Walmart’s control during layovers due to Walmart policies which specify designated locations for layovers; therefore, Walmart truck drivers are entitled to collect at least minimum wage for time spent on layovers. Walmart may have to pay its truck drivers $100 million in back pay to comply with California minimum wage laws.

Philadelphia wage and hour lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green represent clients in all matters concerning employment law including wage and hour disputes, FLSA violations, discrimination claims, overtime claims and more. Our team is comprised of highly skilled Philadelphia business lawyers adept in trial litigation and complex negotiations. Contact Sidkoff, Pincus & Green online or call 215-574-0600.

Philadelphia Wage and Hour Lawyers: Overtime Pay Dispute

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Two meat-delivery drivers have filed a class action suit against their employer, alleging they were denied overtime pay in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA.) The employer argues that they were not obligated to pay the drivers overtime wages, because they fell into the motor carrier exemption. The defendants brought the case before a New York judge for summary judgment and were subsequently denied the motion, citing issues of fact.

The men worked as delivery drivers for a New York-based meat distribution company. Their primary duties were transporting products stored at the New York warehouse for delivery to in-state customers. Many of the products stored at the warehouse were ordered from outside of New York. The most significant fact being argued in the case was whether the men were truly engaged in interstate commerce and therefore fell into the motor carrier exemption for overtime.

Exemptions to FLSA Overtime Rules

Exemptions to the FLSA’s rules on overtime applies to drivers, driver’s helpers, loaders, and mechanics who are within the authority of the Secretary of Transportation and whose duties affect the safety of operation of motor vehicles in interstate commerce. The interstate commerce requirement is satisfied if the goods being transported within the borders of one state are involved in a practical continuity of movement in the flow of interstate commerce. Simply put, if the company received goods from out of state with a fixed intent that they be transported to a specific customer who had ordered the item, regardless of whether it was stored temporarily intrastate, the motor carrier exemption applies. However, if the final destination of items brought in from out of state is not known at the time of delivery to the warehouse, then the exemption does not apply.

Determining when Intrastate Movement is considered Interstate Movement

An earlier Supreme Court decision created a framework for determining whether intrastate movements are “interstate” for the purposes of the motor carrier exemption. In that case, the court discussed three circumstances when goods were brought from out of state but sold and distributed to customers within the state.

  1. Goods purchased by the wholesaler or distributer upon order of a customer with the definite intention that they be carried at once to the customer.
  2. Goods obtained by the wholesaler or distributer to meet the needs of specific customers in agreement with an understanding, contractual or otherwise, although not for immediate delivery.
  3. Goods are brought to the warehouse in anticipation of customer need, rather than upon prior orders or contracts.

The court held that the goods in the first two categories remain in interstate commerce until the time they are delivered to the retail customers. Goods in the third category, however, can only be considered interstate commerce if there is specific evidence relating a product to a particular customer.

The owner of the meat distribution company presented the court with a list of approximately 100 special orders from out-of-state suppliers to be delivered to specific customers in-state. The judge declared the document inadmissible, on the grounds that it was lacking in sufficient detail including dates and costs, and did not appear to have been made in the normal course of business. Summary judgment was denied and the case will proceed to trial at a later date. Attorneys for the plaintiffs estimate that their clients are owed more than $60,000 in overtime pay from the defendants.

Philadelphia Overtime Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green handle Overtime Disputes

Philadelphia overtime pay lawyers of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green are highly skilled business and employment litigators with experience representing employees with overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Call 215-574-0600 today or submit an online contact form to arrange a consultation with one of our qualified Philadelphia overtime dispute lawyers. Our office is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and we represent clients throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey regions.