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Author Archives: megan

Worker Misclassification Task Force Releases Report with 15 Unanimous Recommendations for General Assembly

The Joint Task Force on Misclassification of Employees, a bipartisan-nominated group of volunteers representing business, labor, and government perspectives, has submitted its annual report to the General Assembly with 15 unanimous recommendations. In the report, the group recommends extending and enhancing legislative protections for workers as well as penalties for employers who violate the law, […]

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Recent Trends in Pennsylvania Employment Law: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Continues to Broadly Define the Parameters of “Employment”

Although we usually dedicate our News Posts to wage and overtime rights law, it remains important for Pennsylvania wage/overtime lawyers to read and understand all of the employment rights opinions issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  That’s because, over the course time, concepts and principles developed in cases decided in one specific area of employment […]

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PA Department of Labor and Industry’s Proposed PMWA Regs: Guidance Regarding Tipped Employees, and an Important Clarification for Salaried Workers

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s proposal to amend Part XII, Chapter 231 of 34 Pa. Code was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on November 20, 2021. This proposed regulation updates and add various rules regarding tipped employees, and provides an important clarification on the method of calculating the “regular [hourly] rate” of salaried […]

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WINEBRAKE & SANTILLO RECORDS 200TH WAGE AND HOUR CLASS/COLLECTIVE ACTION RECOVERY ON BEHALF OF OUR CLIENTS

On November 22, 2021, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania approved a collective action settlement on behalf of workers who were not paid full overtime premium pay and represented by Winebrake & Santillo, LLC. This approval order represents the 200th time that Winebrake & Santillo has obtained a recovery of unpaid wages on a class and/or […]

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FOR THE SEVENTH YEAR IN A ROW WINEBRAKE & SANTILLO HAS RECEIVED A FIRST TIER RANKING ON THE U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORTS’ BEST LAW FIRMS LIST

Winebrake & Santillo, LLC has been recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” with a First Tier ranking on the 2022 Best Law Firms List in Philadelphia. The firm received these first tier rankings in both “Employment Law – Individuals” and “Litigation-Labor and Employment”. In addition, Winebrake & Santillo was also ranked nationally for […]

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Our Firm’s Long Road to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holding that Amazon Warehouse Workers Should Be Paid for Time Associated with Mandatory Security Screenings

Our firm is delighted that, on July 21, 2021, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its opinion in Heimbach v. Amazon.com, Inc.  A copy of the 29-page majority opinion is available at our website page dedicated to the Amazon.com Security Screening lawsuit, which can be found by clicking HERE. As you probably know, Amazon operates very […]

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Attorney Andy Santillo Admitted to the American Arbitration Association’s Roster of Arbitrators

Attorney Andy Santillo was recently admitted to the American Arbitration Association’s (“AAA”) roster of arbitrators.  Andy is now available to be selected by parties to oversee disputes through the AAA’s alternative dispute resolution program.  This admission follows his 2017 certification as an arbitrator by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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Some Ideas for Fighting Retaliatory Counterclaims and Third-Party Complaints in Cases Arising Under State Wage Laws

We recently drafted a brief in several related actions in which our clients claim the defendant violated Connecticut, New Hampshire, and New Jersey wage law by misclassifying them as independent contractors rather than employees.  In many such cases, the defendant tries to intimidate the workers by filing counterclaims against the workers or third-party complaints against […]

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Rodriguez v. Taco Bell Corp. (E.D. Cal. 10/30/13) — A Helpful Decision for Class Members Accused of “Claim Splitting”

Our firm currently is appealing from a  district court holding that the purported rule against “claim-splitting” prohibits a worker who “opted-in” to a large FLSA collective action (seeking overtime pay) from subsequently pursuing a separate lawsuit alleging that the same employer made improper wage deductions under Illinois wage law.  In doing some research, I recently […]

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In the Third Circuit, It Does Not Take Much To Plead An FLSA Claim

We recently had to respond to a motion to dismiss in which the company alleged that the plaintiff did not adequately plead overtime work hours Under the FLSA.  I thought the motion was entirely unwarranted and wrote a quick brief pulling together some of the best cases.  In case it helps you, here is my […]

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The Fifth Circuit’s Recent Opinion Addressing Sealed Court Documents is a Breath of Fresh Air

What a delight to read the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals‘ recent opinion in Bin Hoa Le v. Exeter Financing Corp., 20-10377 (5th Cir. March 5, 2021).  A copy of the opinion is available HERE.  After affirming the district court’s summary judgment decision, Fifth Circuit Judge Don Willett goes on to address the fact that […]

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Congressional Subcommittee Addresses Forced Arbitration

On February 11, 2021, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law held a hearing entitled “Justice Restored: Ending Forced Arbitration and Protecting Fundamental Rights.”  The hearing addressed, among other things, the “FAIR Act,” which was recently introduced in the House and will make it far more difficult to companies to use […]

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Pennsylvania Overtime Attorney Alert: Western District of Pennsylvania Magistrate Judge Refuses to Apply “Heightened Burden of Proof” to FLSA Conditional Certification Motion

Generally speaking, plaintiffs in the Third Circuit seeking “conditional certification” of an FLSA collective action are merely required to “make a ‘modest factual showing’ — something beyond mere speculation — to demonstrate a factual nexus between the manner in which the employer’s alleged policy affected him or her and the manner in which it affected […]

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A Few Comments on the Fourth Circuit’s Recent FLSA Opinion in Tom v. Hospitality Ventures LLC

I’ve noticed that many wage and hour lawyers have been talking and writing about the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals‘ recent precedential opinion in Tom v. Hospitality Ventures LLC, 18-2509 (4th Cir. Nov. 24, 2020).  A copy of the opinion is available HERE. In case you are too busy to read the opinion, the following […]

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Our Firm and Others Submit Comments Objecting to the DOL’s Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Independent Contractor Status

As most readers of this website know, the USDOL issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking indicating its intent to issue new interpretive guidance regarding the classification of workers as non-employee independent contractors under the FLSA.  You can read the Federal Register materials addressing the proposed rulemaking HERE. Anyway, individuals wishing to make comments were required […]

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Servers Should Receive Full Minimum Wage When They Spend More than 20% of their Time Performing Sidework

Frequently restaurant servers are required to spend a large percentage of their time performing sidework instead of waiting on customers.  Examples of sidework tasks include: rolling silverware; washing dishes, cooking and preparing food, taking used dishes from the dining room to the back of the restaurant, bringing clean dishes from the back of the restaurant […]

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For Sixth Consecutive Year, Winebrake & Santillo Receives First-Tier Ranking in U.S. News and World Reports’ Best Law Firms List

Winebrake & Santillo, LLC has been recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” with a First Tier ranking on the 2021 Best Law Firms List in Philadelphia. The firm received these first tier rankings in both “Employment Law – Individuals” and “Litigation-Labor and Employment”.  In addition, Winebrake & Santillo was also ranked nationally for […]

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Today’s Highlighted Overtime Decision: Noll v. Flowers Foods, Inc., 1:15-cv-00493-LEW (D. Me. Aug. 3, 2020) — “Pulling Stales” and Seeking Overtime Pay in the Food Distribution Industry

Some of the Nation’s biggest FLSA lawsuits involve the overtime rights of “distributors” who work in the bread and snack food industries.  These distributors are usually required to form closely-held corporations (usually LLCs) and sign contracts classifying them as non-employee “independent contractors.”  Of course, whether these distributors really are independent contractors depends on an assessment […]

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Watch the New National Employment Law Project (“NELP”) Video Describing the ABC Test.

As we have discussed over the years, several states have implemented an “ABC Test” for determining whether a worker is an “employee” rather than an “independent contractor.”  These ABC Tests make it easier for workers to demonstrate that they are “employees” entitled to many important workplace benefits and protections.  For example, employees generally are entitled […]

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Some Quick Notes About the Differences Between Rule 23 Class Actions and FLSA Collective Actions

I just read the Second Circuit Court of Appeals important decision in Scott v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 954 F.3d 502 (2d Cir. 2020), which held, among other things, “that the requirements for certifying a class under Rule 23 are unrelated to and more stringent than the requirements for ‘similarly situated’ employees to proceed in […]

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Our Pennsylvania Supreme Court Argument Against Imposing a De Minimis Rule on Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”) Claims

Our firm has the privilege of representing a class of Amazon.com warehouse workers who seek compensation under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”) for time associated with mandatory, anti-theft security screenings that Amazon subjected the warehouse workers to at the end of their shifts.  In opposing the lawsuit, one of Amazon’s arguments is that the […]

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Third Circuit Reverses Decision that UberBlack Drivers are “Independent Contractors”

Earlier this month, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion reversing a lower court’s finding that UberBlack Drivers were “independent contractors” not entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay under federal and Pennsylvania law.  In a case titled Razak v. Uber Technology, Inc., the appellate court (which covers Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) […]

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Pennsylvania Unemployment Alert: “INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS” May Be Eligible for Unemployment and Other Benefits

In recent years, many Pennsylvanians have been required to work as “CONTRACTORS.”  Businesses have a BIG financial incentive to call their workers “contractors” rather than “employees.”  Specifically, many businesses have used the “contractor” label to avoid legal obligations such as social security contributions, unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance, overtime pay, and other workplace laws. Now […]

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It’s Not Very Complicated: Restaurant Owners, Managers, and Supervisors Cannot Take Servers’ Tips

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) states that “[a]n employer may not keep tips received by its employees for any purposes, including allowing a manager or supervisors to keep any portion of employees’ tips, regardless of whether or not the employer takes a tip credit.”  29 U.S.C. §203(m)(2)(B).  Moreover, a restaurant that violates this rule […]

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Steakhouse Servers Represented by W&S Prevail at the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

Earlier today, the Court of appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in Camara v. Mastro’s Restaurants, LLC, 18-7167, which affirmed the district court’s refusal to compel an FLSA plaintiff to arbitration where (i) the company did not maintain a signed arbitration agreement and (ii) the plaintiff swore that he never signed the […]

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Middle District of Pennsylvania Holds that Pennsylvania Servers Can Pursue Wage Claims for Performing Excessive Sidework

We are very pleased to announce that on February 25, 2020 the federal judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by Winebrake & Santillo on behalf of servers at the Houlihan’s restaurant in Hersey, Pennsylvania issued an opinion denying the company’s motion to dismiss.  As part of its decision, the Court rejected the recent opinion letter issued […]

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Pennsylvania Poised To Provide Salaried Workers with Overtime Protections that Exceed Federal Law

Both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”) exempt “executives,” “administrators,” and “professionals” from the statutes’ overtime pay mandates.  These are generally referred to as the “white collar exemptions.” Employees falling under the white-collar exemptions generally are paid on a “salary basis.”  Both FLSA and PMWA have historically […]

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Trump Administration’s New FLSA “Joint Employment” Regulation Contradicts Binding Court Decisions and Leaves Us All Very Confused

The federal Department of Labor (“DOL”) is empowered to publish regulations that interpret different provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  These types of interpretive regulations are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (“the CFR”).  A long time ago, in Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134 (1944), the Supreme Court explained […]

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For Fifth Consecutive Year, Winebrake & Santillo Receives First-Tier Ranking in U.S. News and World Reports’ Best Law Firms List

Winebrake & Santillo, LLC has been recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” with a First Tier ranking on the 2020 Best Law Firms List in Philadelphia. The firm received these first tier rankings in both “Employment Law – Individuals” and “Litigation-Labor and Employment”.  In addition, Winebrake & Santillo was also ranked nationally for […]

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Third Circuit Update: New Opinion in Stone v. Troy Construction, Inc., No. 18-1825 (3d Cir. Aug. 20, 2019) Clarifies (1) the FLSA’s “Willful” Violation Standard and (2) Necessity of Filing Consent-to-Join Form.

During a 10-day stretch August, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware) issued three separate opinions addressing the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  Moreover, each opinion is “precedential” and will be published in the Federal Reporter.  Because precedential FLSA opinions are pretty rare in the Third Circuit, this 10-day […]

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Pennsylvania Wage Lawyer Practice Point: The Important Role of Employee Handbooks in Unpaid Wage Litigation

On September 24, 2019 Federal District Judge Robert Mariani (who sits in Scranton, PA) issued a thoughtful, 22-page opinion in a class action lawsuit handled by our firm.  The lawsuit is styled Knapp v. Susquehanna Village Facility Operations, LLC, 3:18-cv-01941 (M.D. Pa.), and the opinion can be found HERE. In this lawsuit, the plaintiff worked […]

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Southern District of Ohio Judge Issues a Thoughtful Opinion Addressing the Benefits of Random Sampling in FLSA Collective Actions

In Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) collective actions, the parties often disagree about the propriety of conducting discovery pertaining to a representative sample of the FLSA collective rather than from each and every collective member.  The use of such representative discovery is widely accepted at this point, especially when the collective consists of hundreds of […]

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Overtime Lawyer Alert: Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Holds that FLSA’s Fee-Recovery Provision Requires Formal Entry of Judgment

Section 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) enables workers who win FLSA wage and overtime lawsuits to recover attorney’s fees and expenses.  See 29 U.S.C. sec 216(b).  Specifically, Section 16(b) provides:  “The court in such action shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, allow a reasonable attorney’s fee […]

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Overtime Class Action Attorney Alert: Fourth Circuit Explains that FLSA Collective Action Settlements Do Not Require Notice to Covered Employees

As readers of this blog probably know, courts uniformly hold that judges must review Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) collective action settlements for fairness (although the verdict is still out on whether the same rule applies to FLSA lawsuits settled on behalf of an individual employee).  However, courts differ on what standards and procedures should […]

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Newly-Minted WDPA Judge Skeptical of Parties’ Request to Seal FLSA Settlement Papers

As most readers of this blog know, Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) collective action settlements must be approved by the court as “fair and reasonable” resolutions of a “bona fide dispute” (although it is less clear whether such a requirement should apply to FLSA lawsuits settled on behalf of individual employees).  On September 3, 2019, […]

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American Association for Justice (“AAJ”) Issues Report Addressing Forced Arbitration

The American Association for Justice (also known as “AAJ” and formerly known as the “American Trial Lawyers Association”) recently issued a report discussing how forced arbitration is harming workers and consumers all over the country by preventing them from, among other things, presenting their legal claims to a jury and participating in class actions (which, […]

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Workers’ Rights Organizations Submit Comments Opposing the U.S. Department of Labor’s Proposed “Joint Employment” Rule

As many of you know, the USDOL’s Wage & Hour Division recently sought comments regarding a proposed rule that seeks to make it harder for workers to prove “joint employment” under the FLSA.  The proposed rule — available HERE — is yet another gift from the Trump Administration to giant corporations.  This time, the Trump […]

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Recommended Reading: EPI’s May 2019 “Unchecked Corporate Power” Report

I just read a May 2019 Report entitled “Unchecked Corporate Power: Forced Arbitration, the Enforcement Crisis, and How Workers are Fighting Back.  The report is published by the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy, with the assistance of the National Employment Law Project.    I think the Report does a great job […]

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Attorney Pete Winebrake Testifies Before Congressional Subcommittee on Proposed Overtime Rule

On June 12, 2019, Attorney Pete Winebrake testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on Workforce Protections about the proposed rule which would increase the salary level for overtime exempt employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  In March, the Department of Labor unveiled its long-awaited update to the so-called white collar overtime rule, saying workers […]

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A couple of Recent Decisions Protecting the Integrity of FLSA Settlements

Over the years, we have repeatedly published news reports addressing the requirement that FLSA settlements be reviewed and approved by judges.  On the downside, judicial approval makes “small” FLSA cases extremely “unprofitable” because the attorney time necessary for obtaining judicial approval often exceeds the value of the settlement.  Judges should be sensitive to this reality, […]

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Pennsylvania Overtime Lawyer Update: Three Pennsylvania Decisions Holding that the Federal Portal-to-Portal Act Restrictions on Compensable Time Do Not Apply to Claims Under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA)

We recently filed a brief in our Amazon.com security clearance case arguing that the Federal Portal-to-Portal Act’s restrictions to compensable time do not apply to claims under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA).  You can access the brief by visiting our Amazon.com page. In the brief, we explain that, sometimes the PMWA is silent regarding […]

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New York/New Jersey Wage and Hour Alert: Employers Who Fail to Pay Arbitration Fees Cannot Subsequently Compel Mandatory Arbitration

As many of you know, employers throughout the Nation increasingly require employees to sign agreements waiving their right to pursue legal claims in court, their right to a jury trial, and their right to pursue legal claims on a class/collective basis.  However, in recent months, it has become increasingly clear that many employers do not […]

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Court Conditionally Certifies Collective of IHOP Servers at Three Michigan Restaurants

On December 18, 2018, Judge David M. Lawson of the Eastern District of Michigan issued an order conditionally certifying a collective of all current and former servers who worked for Trinity Restaurant Group, LLC at its IHOP restaurants in Detroit, Mount Pleasant, and Saginaw Michigan at any time during the last three years.  In accordance […]

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Third Circuit Court of Appeals Holds NJ Employment Test Not Preempted

On January 29, 2019, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important decision in a case titled Bedoya v. American Eagle Express, Inc. brought by Winebrake & Santillo and co-counsel Lichten & Liss-Riordan PC on behalf of delivery drivers in New Jersey. In a precedential decision, the federal appellate court held that a federal law […]

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Pennsylvania Judge Questions the Fairness of Privatizing Enforcement of Nation’s Employment Rights Laws

Over the past few years, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a string of decisions endorsing the use of “take-it-or-leave-it” contracts that require workers to arbitrate employment rights disputes arising under some of this Nation’s most precious civil rights laws.  The federal judiciary’s willingness to surrender its authority to the private arbitration industry is nothing […]

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FLSA Practice Pointer: A Couple of Pennsylvania District Court Decisions Holding that Worker’s Can Recover Punitive Damages in FLSA Retaliation Lawsuit

The FLSA makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for complaining about workplace FLSA violations.  See 29 U.S.C. 215(a)(3).  Moreover, the FLSA’s damages provision enables an employee who wins a retaliation lawsuit to recover “such legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate to effectuate the purposes of [the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provision], including […]

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Pennsylvania Wage Attorney Update: Third Circuit Deals Another Blow to Employers’ Attempts to Apply “Portal-to-Portal” Restrictions to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act

On November 11, 2018, we reported on a terrific decision by the Washington County (PA) Court of Common Pleas in which the Judge held that the FLSA’s “Portal-to-Portal Act” restrictions on compensable work do not apply to claims for unpaid wages under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”).  You can read that post by clicking […]

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Pennsylvania Employment Lawyer Alert: “At-Will” Employees Are Not Necessarily Prevented from Asserting Breach of Contract or PWPCL Claims Seeking Unpaid Wages or Benefits

Almost every employer knows that “at-will employees have no contractual entitlement to their jobs.  But, sometimes, corporate lawyers try to stretch “at-will” principles too far.  For example, in a case our firm is handling now, an “at-will” employees contends that she had a “contractual” entitlement to over 1,000 hours of accumulated and unused leave.  Applying […]

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Philadelphia District Court Issues a Helpful FLSA Conditional Certification Addressing the Impact of Arbitration Agreements and the Validity of the “Lack of Interest” Argument

As most readers of this website knows, every week brings us new court decisions addressing FLSA “conditonal certification” motions.  But an October 26, 2018 opinion issued by Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Wendy Beetlestone caught my eye because it very efficiently and effectively rejected two arguments that companies continue to press in opposing conditional certification.  […]

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Pennsylvania Overtime Lawyer Tip: Washington County Common Pleas Court Deems Federal Portal-to-Portal Restrictions on Compensable Time Inapplicable Under Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act

As many readers of this website already know, the federal Portal-to-Portal Act places significant restrictions on the compensability of of pre-shift and post-shift work activities under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In recent years, these concepts have been explored by the U.S. Supreme Court in the IBP, Inc. v. Alvarez (2005) and Integrity Staffing Solutions, […]

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Overtime Lawyer Update: Quite a Few States Have Rejected the Fluctuating Workweek Method of Overtime Compensation

As we have previously reported, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued an important decision in December 2017 in a case called Chevalier v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc.  This case addresses the amount of overtime pay that is due to salaried employees who work over 40 hours per week.  As detailed in a previous article on this […]

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For Fourth Consecutive Year, Winebrake & Santillo Receives First-Tier Ranking in U.S. News and World Reports’ Best Law Firms List

Winebrake & Santillo, LLC has been recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” with a First Tier ranking on the 2019 Best Law Firms List in Philadelphia. The firm received these first tier rankings in both “Employment Law – Individuals” and “Litigation-Labor and Employment”.  In addition, Winebrake & Santillo was also ranked nationally for […]

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Recent Development: Amazon Warehouse Workers Ask Sixth Circuit to Certify Question of Portal-to-Portal Act’s Applicability to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act

Our firm continues to pursue the Pennsylvania wage rights of Amazon warehouse workers who were not compensated for time associated with security screenings that the workers are subjected to before leaving the warehouse at the end of their shift.  As many of our readers know, in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk,  the U.S. Supreme […]

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Court Certifies Nationwide Collective of Servers at Mastro’s Restaurants

Today the United States District Court for the District of Columbia conditonally certified a collective consisting of  “All employees who worked as servers and received an hourly wage less than $7.25 an hour at any Mastro’s location in the United States from May 22, 2015 to the present.”  The servers are represented by Winebrake & […]

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What the Third Circuit’s 2014 Thompson Decision Teaches Us About Pleading “Joint Employment” Under the FLSA

Our firm recently wrote a brief that required us to really focus on the Third Circuit’s decision in Thompson v. Real Estate Mortgage Network, 748 F.3d 142 (3d Cir. 2014), wherein the Third Circuit explained that, at the pleadings stage, workers are not expected to have detailed information regarding the interrelationships between corporate defendants and, therefore, […]

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An Important Tip for Pennsylvania Employment and Civil Rights Lawyers: Arbitrators Participating in the EDPA’s Arbitration Program are Neither Expected Nor Permitted to Award Attorney’s Fees; So File Your Fee Petition with the Judge

As many of the readers of this website know, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has an arbitration program whereby certain cases with a total potential value of under $150,000 proceed to non-binding arbitration before a panel of three arbitrators.  This is an excellent program.  The arbitrators rule quickly and, unless the losing party objects and seeks a […]

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Pennsylvania/New Jersey Overtime Lawyer Update: A Few Recent Decisions Tolling the Running of the FLSA’s Limitations Period

One big frustration we FLSA lawyers have is watching the limitations period run against the claims of workers who have not yet learned about the lawsuit because the originating plaintiff’s “conditional certification” motion has not yet been filed.  This happens because under the FLSA’s collective action device, unlike Rule 23’s class action device, the filing of the […]

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State of New Jersey Files Appellate Brief in Support of Drivers Represented by Winebrake & Santillo

We are happy to announce that on August 13, 2018, the State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development jointly filed a brief with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in support of drivers represented by Winebrake & Santillo and co-counsel Lichten & Liss-Riordan. The drivers allege that they were […]

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New Jersey Governor Announces Task Force to Crackdown on Misclassification of Employees as “Independent Contractors”

On May 3, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy announced that he had signed an executive order establishing the Task Force on Employee Misclassication.  According to Governor Murphy, the purpose of this task force is to address the use of the independent contractor classification by New Jersey employers to “escape their legal responsibilities to their workers, such […]

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Eastern District of Michigan holds that Great Lakes Home Health Services’ Hybrid Compensation Plan Violates Federal Law

We are very pleased to announce that on May 24, 2018 the federal judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by Winebrake & Santillo and co-counsel Barrett Johnston Martin & Garrison LLC on behalf of home health workers issued its opinion on the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment. The Court granted the Plaintiff’s motion for summary […]

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New Jersey Overtime Lawyer Alert: You Should Know About this AAA Award Finding that the “Fluctuating Workweek” (A.K.A. “Half-Time”) Method of Overtime Compensation is Not Allowed under the New Jersey Wage and Hours Law

I just came across an important opinion issued by an American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) Arbitrator named William A. Dreir, who is a retired New Jersey Appellate Court Judge. The opinion was issued back on October 30, 2015 in a case called Frisari v. Dish network, LLC, AAA Case No. 18-160-001431-12. Therein, the Arbitrator finds that […]

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A Bunch of District Court Opinions Holding that Fluctuating Workweek Method of Overtime Calculation Cannot Apply Retroactively in an FLSA Misclassification Case

I’m currently cleaning my office and came across a research folder containing a collection of federal district court opinions holding that the dreaded “Fluctuating Workweek Method” of calculating overtime cannot apply retroactively after a salaried worker wins an FLSA misclassification lawsuit. If you are reading this blog, you probably know that the federal courts are […]

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Attorney Pete Winebrake Interviewed by WHYY Radio

On May 22, 2018 Attorney Pete Winebrake was interviewed on WHYY Radio’s NewsWorks Tonight about the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that corporations are allowed to require employees to sign agreements as a condition of their employment that prevent employees from banding together to challenge illegal wage practices. You can listen to the […]

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Pete Winebrake Featured in Philadelphia Inquirer Article about Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements

On May 17, 2018 Attorney Pete Winebrake was interviewed for an article in the Philadelphia Inquire about class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements.  A copy of this article is available here.

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Attorney Andy Santillo Mentioned in Philadelphia Inquire Article Discussing Worker Misclassification

On May 4, 2018 Attorney Andy Santillo was mentioned in an article in the Philadelphia Inquire titled “Why Philly Employers Should Pay Attention to this California Supreme Court Ruling.”  A copy of this article is available here.  Attorney Santillo was interviewed for the article about his experience representing workers whose employers misclassified them as “Independent […]

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Hot Off the Presses – Check Out the Latest Issue of the Wage and Overtime Quarterly

Winebrake & Santillo has issued its latest installment of the Wage and Overtime Quarterly.  A copy of our Spring 2018 newsletter is available here.

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New Omnibus Budget Bill Offers Mixed Bag for Restaurant Employees

In late-March, Congress passed the big $1.3 trillion budget bill.  The bill is over 2,000 pages long, was passed within hours of its introduction, and is loaded with legislative “riders” that have no apparent connection to governmental spending.  One such rider addresses the circumstances in which restaurants can keep servers’ tips. The FLSA’s tip rules […]

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Read the NELA Institute’s Latest Report on the Widespread Use of Mandatory Workplace Arbitration Agreements

The research arm of the NELA Institute for Law and Policy recently issued a report entitled “The Widespread Use of Workplace Arbitration Among America’s Top 100 Companies.”  You can link to the report HERE.  I thought this was interesting reading if you want to learn more about how forced arbitration is becoming the “new norm” […]

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Today’s Troubling U.S. Supreme Court Opinion in “Encino Motorcars II”

Back in June 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 136 S. Ct. 2117 (2016).  In the June 2016 opinion, the Court invalidated 29 C.F.R. § 779.372(c)(1), a 2011 U.S. Department of Labor regulation deeming “service advisors” uncovered by the FLSA’s “salesman, partsman, or mechanic” exemption.  See 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(10)(A).  The 2016 Opinion […]

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Congratulations to Mark Gottesfeld!

Winebrake & Santillo, LLC is very pleased to announce that Mark Gottesfeld has been made a Partner at the firm.  This is a well-deserved promotion for Mark, who has done a great job since joining the firm in August 2010.  Prior to joining the firm, Mark worked at the Philadelphia firm of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett […]

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Pennsylvania Overtime Lawyer Update: Third Circuit “Gives Us a Break” With Series of FLSA Opinions.

In each of the past three years, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (which is the appellate court for all the U.S. District Courts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware) has issued an opinion addressing the rules for deciding when workers should be paid for “breaks.”  All three cases interpret the Fair Labor Standards Act […]

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Midwest Wage Lawyer Alert: A Quick Summary of the Sixth Circuit Recent Precedential FLSA Opinions

I recently was asked to do a quick summary of recent Sixth Circuit FLSA opinions for a program my friend and fellow wage lawyer Bob DeRose  is giving to the Ohio Association of Justice.   As you probably know, the Sixth Circuit includes the federal courts in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Here is what I […]

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Pete Winebrake to Present Wage & Hour Update at March 2018 SHRM Meeting

Pete Winebrake will be the guest speaker at the March 2018 meeting of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).  Mr. Winebrake will be speaking about recent developments in wage and hour law.  The SHRM mostly consists of HR professionals and “management-side” lawyers.  Mr. Winebrake — who never represents employers […]

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Northern District of Illinois Grants Final Approval of $1,150,000.00 Class/Collective Action Settlement for T-Mobile Retail Store Managers

We are happy to announce that today Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez granted our motion for final approval of the class and collective action settlement of this case on behalf of salaried managers at T-Mobile retail stores who worked for TCC Wireless.  A copy of the Court’s order is available here.

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Federal Judge Conditionally Certifies in Our Joe’s Quick Mart Store Manager Overtime Case

We represent salaried Store Managers who worked at Joe’s Quick Mart convenience stores and did not receive overtime pay.  You can learn more about this case, by visiting our Joe’s Quick Mart page. We are very pleased that the Federal Judge overseeing this lawsuit adopted the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation and conditionally certified the following […]

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Middle District of North Carolina Approves $1,725,000 Settlement for IHOP Servers Represented by Winebrake & Santillo

Yesterday, Judge Catherine C. Eagles of the Middle District of North Carolina approved a $1,725,000 settlement covering over 1,500 servers at 49 IHOP restaurants located throughout the south.  The servers were represented by Winebrake & Santillo and co-counsel Migliaccio & Rathod LLP and Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP.  The servers allege that the operator of […]

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Middle District of Pennsylvania Approves Settlement for Restaurant Servers Represented by Winebrake & Santillo Seeking Unpaid Wages

Yesterday, Judge John E. Jones, III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania approved a $185,000 collective action settlement for servers at Quaker Steak & Lube Restaurants in Mechanicsburg and York Pennsylvania.  Winebrake & Santillo represented the 101 servers in this case who alleged that the restaurant violated federal and Pennsylvania wage and hour law by […]

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Federal Magistrate Judge Recommends Conditional Certification in Our Joe’s Quick Mart Store Manager Overtime Case

We represent salaried Store Managers who worked at Joe’s Quick Mart convenience stores and did not receive overtime pay.  You can learn more about this case, by visiting our Joe’s Quick Mart page.   We are very pleased that, earlier today, a Federal Magistrate Judge issued a 10-page opinion recommending that the Store Managers’ “conditional […]

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Just Face It: Plaintiffs Settling FLSA Lawsuits Cannot be Required to Sign Broad Releases

Hats off to Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Paul Diamond for his January 9, 2018 Order refusing to approve an FLSA settlement that required workers to release claims that extend beyond the scope of the lawsuit.  Lexis subscribers can find the one-page order — which relies on two other EDPA decisions — at Hoover v. […]

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Overtime Lawyer Alert: FLSA’s “Highly Compensated Exemption” Requires a “Guaranteed” Weekly Payment

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals — which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee — recently issued an important overtime rights opinion in Hughes v. Gulf Interstate Field Services, Inc., No. 17-3112 (6th Cir. Dec. 19, 2017).    This case involved pipeline welding inspectors employed in the fracking industry.  The inspectors made over $100,000 per […]

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Trump Administration Re-Issues 17 Wage and Hour Opinion Letters Written in the Final Days of Bush Administration; Most of the Opinion Letters Favor Employers Over Workers

On January 14, 2009 — a mere six days before President Barack Obama was sworn into office — the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued a bunch of Opinion Letters that mostly interpret the FLSA in a restrictive manner.  A few weeks later, the Obama administration “withdrew” the eleventh-hour opinion letters for “further consideration.” […]

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Pennsylvania Labor Attorney Alert: Third Circuit Clarifies When Unpaid Breaks Should Counts as Work

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a very worker-friendly opinion entitled Secretary U.S. Dept. of Labor v. American Future Systems, Inc., 873 F.3d 420 (3d Cir. 2017).  You can read a copy of the opinion HERE. In this case, the employees worked from home as Sales Representatives, and the company only paid them […]

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New Jersey Labor Attorney Alert: Late Opt-in Plaintiff’s Under the FLSA

A Federal Judge in New Jersey recently issued a short and concise opinion allowing an employee covered by an FLSA collective action to join (or “opt-in”) to an overtime rights lawsuit even though the filing deadline had expired.  The decision is entitled Mejia v. Blue Bay Enterprises, LLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166014 (D.N.J. Oct. 6, […]

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Pennsylvania Overtime Attorney Alert: Superior Court Rejects “Half-Time” Method of Overtime Calculation

Here is some good news for Pennsylvania workers and their advocates:  On December 22, 2017, Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Moulton issued a scholarly 44-page opinion explaining that, under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”), Pennsylvania employers may not use the dreaded “half-time” method in determining the amount of extra overtime pay owed to salaried […]

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New Study Confirms that Wage Theft is on the Rise

I just read a new Report issued by the Economic Policy Institute that discusses the significant increase in the amount of unpaid wages recovered by the Department of Labor.  The Report can be found HERE.  The Report is eye-opening, but it fails to mention that even more money is recovered for workers through private wage […]

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Read the Philadelphia Inquire’s Coverage of Some of Our Recent Settlements on Behalf of Restaurant Servers

Today, Attorney Pete Winebrake was quoted in an article in the Philadelphia Inquire which mentions some of our recent successes recovering unpaid wages for restaurant employees (such as servers and bartenders) who were required to share their tips with back-of-house staff such as expos and silverware polishers.  You can access a copy of the article […]

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Department of Labor’s Proposed Changes to the FLSA’s Tip Regulations are Limited to Restaurants that Use the Tip Credit

In recent weeks, much has been written about the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division on December 5, 2017.  A copy of the Notice, as published in the Federal Register, can be found by clicking HERE. When I read the Notice, I was relieved to see […]

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Northern District of Illinois Preliminarily Approves Class/Collective Action Settlement for T-Mobile Retail Store Managers

The settlement of an overtime class/collective action lawsuit filed by Winebrake & Santillo and co-counsel Werman Salas P.C. on behalf of managers at T-Mobile retail stores was recently highlighted by Law360. This lawsuit alleged that the salaried managers were misclassified as “exempt” (or not eligible) for overtime pay when they worked over 40 hours in […]

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Military Veterans Would Benefit from a Minimum Wage Increase

As you remember our military veterans this Memorial Day, you might take a moment to read a new report by the Economic Policy Institute.  The Report, available by clicking HERE, explains that one out of five veterans will see their wages increase if the minimum wage is increased to $15 per hour.  The current minimum […]

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Winebrake & Santillo has received a First Tier ranking on the 2018 Best Law Firms List

Winebrake & Santillo, LLC has received a First Tier ranking on the 2018 Best Law Firms List in Philadelphia for both “Employment Law – Individuals” and “Litigation-Labor and Employment” by U.S. News-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”.  The annual rankings, done by the U.S. News and World Report, recognize firms for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from […]

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Montgomery County Judge Issues Favorable Ruling In Our Comfort Keepers Overtime Lawsuit

We represent home health aids who are employed in several Philadelphia-area Comfort Keepers franchises and seek to recover overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per week.   The lawsuit is proceeding as a class action arbitration at the American Arbitration Association.  You can learn more about this lawsuit by visiting our Cases and Investigations […]

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Read the Allentown Morning Call’s Coverage of Our Chili’s Server Settlement

As you can see from our “Cases and Investigation” page, we have been representing a group of 15 servers from a few Chili’s restaurants in PA and NJ.  This case only covers 15 servers because the federal court ruled that the servers were not allowed to pursue their claims on a “class action” basis due […]

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Breaking News: Today’s Supreme Court Arguments in the Lewis/Morris/Murphy Oil Cases

I traveled to Washington today to attend the Supreme Court’s argument in the consolidated cases of  Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (No. 16-285), Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris (No. 16-300), and NLRB V. Murphy Oil USA (No. 16-307).  A tsunami of lawyers descended on the Courthouse.  So many, in fact, that myself and other employment law geeks […]

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Pennsylvania Wage Attorney Update: Plaintiff Prejudgment Interest and Liquidated Damages Are Not Mutually Exclusive Under the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Act

On March 21, 2017, the Pennsylvania Superior Court handed down and important decision that is worth reading if you are a Pennsylvania wage and hour attorney.  The decision is captioned Andrews v. Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, Inc., No 1694 EDA 2014 and is available through this link: http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Superior/out/j-e02005-16do.pdf#search=%22ANDREWS V. CROSS ATLANTIC%22 The Andrews Court held that […]

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Pennsylvania Wage Lawyer Practice Tip: FLSA Settlements Should Not Contain Broad Release Language

In the past few years, federal district courts in Pennsylvania have been extremely hostile towards FLSA settlements in which the Plaintiffs release claims that extend beyond wage and hour claims.  In this regard, Pennsylvania wage and hour lawyers are directed to the following examples, which we hope you will find helpful: Altnor v. Preferred Freezer […]

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Our 18-month Referral Fee Report

Our law firm exclusively represents workers in wage and overtime litigation.  Our cases range from “single-plaintiff” lawsuits worth a few thousand dollars to class action lawsuits worth millions.  We have enjoyed great success by focusing on the quality – rather than the size – of our client’s claims. Many of our cases are referred to […]

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Judgment Ordered Against Heartland Dental on Behalf of Salaried Office Managers

Today, Judge Peter J. Messitte of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland entered judgment against Heartland Dental and in favor of three Salaried Office Managers represented by Winebrake & Santillo and co-counsel.  This judgment represented over $28,000 in unpaid wages and liquidated damages. Copies of the Court’s opinion and judgment are linked. The […]

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Court Conditionally Certifies Collective of Oil & Gas Workers at Linde Corporation

On May 17, 2017  Judge James Munley of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted our Motion for Conditional Certification. In accordance with the Court’s ruling, notice will be mailed out in the coming weeks to all individuals who, during any time within the past three years, worked as oil […]

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Court Conditionally Certifies Collective of Servers at Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar in Moorestown, NJ

On May 11, 2017  Judge Renee Bumb of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted our Motion for Conditional Certification. In accordance with the Court’s ruling, notice will be mailed out in the coming weeks to all “individuals who, during any time within the past three years, worked as servers […]

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EPI Study Shows Wage Theft on the Rise

The Economic Policy Institute recently published a report on the prevalence and magnitude of minimum wage theft in the 10 most populous US states. The study found that minimum wage violations, when workers are paid below the hourly minimum wage rate, gravely impact low-paid workers and their communities. The EPI concludes that “if the findings […]

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How ‘The Working Families Flexibility Act’ Will Affect Workers Rights

On April 3rd, 2017, the Economic Policy Institute published an article on the newly proposed Working Families Flexibility Act (WFFA). The act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to “allow private-sector employers to “compensate” hourly workers with compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay.” Employee-side attorneys and employee rights activists argue the […]

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6 Reasons Why Claims for Improper Pay Deductions Do Not Depend on Underlying Employer-Worker Contract

We have been seeing more and more lawsuits,  in which workers assert that the company has violated the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (“PWPCL”) by making improper “deductions” from their pay.  The company often responds by arguing that, as a matter of law, the PWPCL claim must fail unless the worker can demonstrate a […]

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Pete Winebrake Presents “Precedential FLSA Circuit Court Opinions” at NELA Seminar

On March 31st, 2017, Pete Winebrake, of Winebrake & Santillo, LLC, will present the following FLSA Circuit Court Opinions at NELA’s 2017 Spring Seminar titled “Litigating Wage & Hour Cases: Challenges & Opportunities”.   First Circuit Lalli v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc., 814 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. Feb. 12, 2016) Holding:  Employer permitted to use fluctuating […]

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Pete Winebrake To Speak at NELA Wage & Hour Seminar

Attorney Pete Winebrake, of Winebrake & Santillo LLC, will be a featured speaker at the National Employment Lawyers Association seminar titled “Litigating Wage & Hour Cases: Challenges & Opportunities”. The seminar will be held at the Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel in Silver Spring, MD from March 31–April 1, 2017. In his presentation, “Significant Developments, Recent Trends […]

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Federal Judge Approves Settlement of Wage Claims Brought by Gas Rig Workers

On March 22nd, a federal judge in Scranton, PA granted approval for a $137,500 settlement in a case in which our firm represented 28 natural gas industry workers who were paid on a day-rate basis. In the lawsuit, we allege these workers were missclassified as “independent contractors” and were not compensated overtime premium pay for […]

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Federal Judge Rules Pennsylvania Chili’s Bar & Grill Servers Must Pursue Illegal Tip-Out Claims in Arbitration

Our law firm continues to represent Servers who worked at Chili’s Bar & Grill restaurants operated in Pennsylvania by Quality Dining, Inc. and Grayling Corporation.  The lawsuit alleges that the restaurants violated federal and state wage laws by requiring Servers to tip-out restaurant Expediters.  After we started the lawsuit, the restaurant changed its tip-out policies.  […]

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Heartland Dental Employees Ask Federal Judge to Approve $28,000 Judgment in their Favor

Today three Salaried Office Managers for Heartland Dental represented by Winebrake & Santillo filed a motion with the United States District Court for the District of Maryland asking that it enter a judgment in their favor for over $28,000.00.  The three Office Managers alleged in a complaint filed in June 2016 that based on their […]

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Federal Judge rules that McCoy’s Building Supply violated the law by failing to pay overtime compensation to a salaried Assistant Store Manager

Winebrake & Santillo just recovered over $20,000 in a trial against McCoy Corporation (d/b/a “McCoy’s Building Supply”) on behalf of a salaried Assistant Store Manager.  The Court’s decision issued by Judge Carmen E. Garza from the District of New Mexico held that McCoy’s Building Supply violated the law by failing to pay overtime compensation to a […]

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Article Highlights Suit Filed By W&S Against Harvest Seasonal Grill on Behalf of Servers & Bartenders

South Jersey — On Feb. 17th, 2017, the Courier-Post published an article that highlighted the wage lawsuit Winebrake & Santillo, LLC filed against Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar in Moorestown, NJ on behalf of food servers and bartenders who claim they were made to illegally share tips with food runners or “expos”. The suit says […]

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W&S Files Collective Action on Behalf of Call Center Employees

Akron, Ohio — Winebrake & Santillo, LLC has filed a collective action lawsuit against VXI Global Solutions that alleges VXI failed to pay call center employees for all of their work hours. This unpaid time includes: (i) time spent at the beginning of the day booting up the computer and logging into computer programs; (ii) […]

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LITIGATION ALERT: OUR FIRM MOVES FOR FLSA “CONDITIONAL CERTIFICATION” IN LAWSUIT FILED ON BEHALF OF JOE’S KWIK MART STORE MANAGERS

Our firm represents 6 salaried “Store Managers” who were employed at Joe’s Kwik Mart stores operated by SMG Group, LLC.  The company classifies the Store Managers as “executives” who are not entitled to overtime.  In the lawsuit, our clients claim that this classification is wrong because, even though the Store Managers have a fancy job […]

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