Author Archives: Justin Swidler

G.E. Techs File Class Action Lawsuit for wages

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY: As reported by numerous media outlets, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, several service technicians employed by General Electric in 6 states have filed a putative collective and class action lawsuit in federal court against General Electric (G.E.) asserting that they were denied wages for pre-shift work, post-shift work and missed meal breaks in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and state law.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in Camden.  Richard Swartz and Justin Swidler of Swartz Swidler, LLC, Alan Eichenbaum, and Robert Soloff represent the workers in their fight for wages.  More information regarding the lawsuit, as well as information regarding how you can join the lawsuit if you are a potential plaintiff, is available here.

Posted in Federal FLSA Collective Actions, Minimum Wage, New Jersey Wage Payment Law, Off-the-Clock, Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, Pennsylvania Overtime Class Actions, Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law, Pre-Shit Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.R. England Class Action Lawsuit Growing

As reported today by Swartz Swidler, LLC, as of today, more than 2,100 drivers have joined the C.R. England Class Action Lawsuit.  The lawsuit asserts that C.R. England violated federal wage and hour law, and specifically, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), by paying its drivers below the minimum wage.

You can learn more about the lawsuit, by visiting Swartz Swidler on the web.  Swartz Swidler, LLC is an employment law firm based in Cherry Hill that focuses on wage and hour litigation in the trucking industry.  The law firm represents more than 50,000 truck drivers nationwide in various wage and hour disputes.

 

Posted in CR England Class Action, Federal FLSA Collective Actions, Off-the-Clock, Pre-Shit Work, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Truck Drivers bring FLSA minimum wage lawsuit in Federal Court

Earlier this week, Swartz Swidler, LLC, an employment law firm based in Cherry Hill, NJ which focuses on nationwide FLSA litigation, filed a lawsuit the federal court in Dallas, Texas asserting FLSA violations committed by Stevens Transport.

According to the lawsuit filed in Northern District of Texas, Stevens Transport violated the law by failing to pay its drivers for certain compensable time spent during their training program, including for time logged in a sleeper berth and for some compensable rest periods.

Swartz Swidler, LLC has focuses a significant amount of effort in fighting for wages of over-the-road truck drivers.  The Firm is currently litigating cases against Werner and C.R. England.  For more information regarding the lawsuit against Stevens Transport, you can visit visit the official Stevens Transport Class Action website.

Posted in Federal FLSA Collective Actions, Minimum Wage, New Jersey (NJ) Wage and Hour, New Jersey Wage Payment Law, Off-the-Clock, Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law, Pre-Shit Work, Uncategorized, Unpaid Meal Breaks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Lawsuit Filed in Philadelphia

New Jersey (NJ) and Pennsylvania (PA) wrongful termination and employment attorneys, Swartz Swidler, LLC, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia, PA on behalf of an employee who contends that she was subjected to sexual harassment and wrongfully discharged for complaining about same.  Read More.

Posted in Discrimination, New Jersey (NJ) Discrimination Law, New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, Pennsylvania Discrimination Law, Sexual Harassment, Title VII, Wrongful Termination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Filed

On May 3, 2013, Swartz Swidler, LLC filed a federal discrimination lawsuit in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on behalf of a grieved employee who asserts he was wrongfully terminated in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”).  Read More.

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Disability Discrimination Law, Discrimination, Failure to Accommodate, Pennsylvania Discrimination Law, Title VII, Wrongful Termination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putative Overtime and Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Wells Fargo, N.A. Alleging Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PAWA”), and Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law (“PWPCL”).

On December 10, 2012 a former employee of Wells Fargo, N.A. filed a federal lawsuit in Philadelphia asserting violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”),  the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PAWA”), and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law (“PWPCL”).  The employee contends that the bank had a nation-wide policy requiring its tellers and bankers who opened the branch to arrive early to perform security procedures and failed to pay for such time.

Pennsylvania (PA) and New Jersey (NJ) Employment attorneys, Swartz Swidler, LLC. represent the employee in her battle to recover the overtime and unpaid wages for herself and other current and former employees.

In more depth, the lawsuit contends that employees who were assigned to open the bank were required to engage in significant pre-shift security procedures inside and outside the building. Such activities were performed off-the-clock, as the employees were unable to clock into work prior to performing the security procedures.  The lawsuit asserts that employees worked 15-20 minutes on pre-shift activities each time they were required to perform such security procedures.

The lawsuit asserts that former and current employees worked 40 hours so the pre-shift activities they were required to perform were excess time over their 40 regular hours and should have been compensated as overtime. The lawsuit contends that these pay practices, on top of the Wells Fargo’s failure to provide compensation for time spent on pre-shift work-related activities, violate state and federal wage and hour laws.

If you worked for Wells Fargo in the United States at any time within the last three years, you may be able to join the lawsuit and recover overtime wages.  For more information, please call Justin Swidler or Richard Swartz of Swartz, Swidler, LLC.  You may reach the attorneys toll free at (877) 529-9501.

Posted in Federal FLSA Collective Actions, Off-the-Clock, Overtime, Pennsylvania Overtime Class Actions, Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law, Pre-Shit Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Federal Court in Williamsport, Pennsylvania Grants FLSA Conditional Class Certification to Oil Workers of Precision Drilling in Overtime Pay Dispute

On January 7, 2013, the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted conditional class certification, certifying a nationwide class of hourly rig employees of Precision Drilling, which has a US headquarters in Houston, Texas but which provides drilling service for many natural gas wells throughout central Pennsylvania.

The employees contend that the company fails to pay for donning and doffing time, and further fails to pay employees for time spent walking from the donning and doffing location to a safety meeting location.  They further assert that portions of the safety meeting are unpaid.  The employees contend that the time they are not paid is time worked beyond 40 hours per workweek, constituting violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

While the precise number is not known at this time, it is believed that the nationwide class will reach more than 5,000 employees.  The employees are represented by Justin Swidler and Richard Swartz of Swartz Swidler, LLC, a  New Jersey based employment law firm which focuses on wage and hour disputes.

Posted in Donning and Doffing, Federal FLSA Collective Actions, Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, Pennsylvania Overtime Class Actions, Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law | Leave a comment

Court Grants Conditional Collective Certification Per the FLSA for a Class of more than 40,000 Truck Drivers who Assert They Were Denied Minimum Wage

On October 11, 2012,  in one of the largest wage and hour lawsuits ever to hit the trucking industry, Senior Judge Lyle E. Strom, sitting on the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska conditionally certified a nationwide FLSA class of more than 40,000 truck drivers who assert that they were systemically denied minimum wage, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The case, Philip Petrone, et al. v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., et al., asserts that Werner Enterprises, a publicly traded trucking company and one of the 20 largest trucking companies in the United States, paid newly hired employees below the minimum wage while the new hires attended a 6-8 week over-the-road training program.  A motion to certify a class pursuant to Rule 23 based on Nebraska state law is pending.

While many industries are becoming accustomed to large FLSA collective action claims, the trucking industry has largely dodged such attacks, in part because truck drivers are exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA.  However, over-the-road truck drivers are entitled to minimum wage for all hours worked.  According to the lawsuit, Werner used a computerized and automatic payroll system which processed payroll for all of its student drivers and which was programmed in a manner which systemically denied student drivers minimum wage.

The plaintiffs are represented by Justin Swidler and Richard Swartz of Swartz Swidler, LLC, a Cherry Hill, New Jersey based employment law firm which focuses on nationwide wage and hour disputes.

Posted in Federal FLSA Collective Actions, Minimum Wage, Overtime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whistleblower Action and Class Action Filed Against Artsquest Alleging Violations of the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (“PUTPCPL”), and Pennsylvania Common Law for the Fraudulent Sale of Chinese Products Marketed as Handcrafted in Germany

On June 11, 2012, a former employee working at Artsquest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (PA) filed two federal lawsuits in Pennsylvania asserting violations of the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (“PUTPCL”), and the Pennsylvania (PA) Common Law.  The former employee is represented by New Jersey (NJ) and Pennsylvania (PA) employment and discrimination attorneys at Swartz Swidler, LLC.  Artsquest is the organizer of Musikfest a ten day music festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

One of the lawsuits asserts that Artsquest fraudulently sold beer steins emblazoned with the Musikfest logo made in China that were marketed as “handcrafted in Germany.”  As the lawsuit further asserts, a former employee discovered that the beer steins were not made in Germany as marketed, but were in fact made in China.  It is also alleged in the lawsuit that the former employee complained to Artsquest Management about the fraudulent misrepresentation and was fired shortly thereafter.  The Complaint further asserts that this termination is a violation of the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act.

The second lawsuit asserts a class action claim for violations of RICO, the PUTPCL, and the Pennsylvania (PA) common law.  In the class action lawsuit, it is asserted that Artsquest intentionally defrauded the public by purposefully selling the misrepresented beer steins and anyone who purchased a Musikfest beer stein in the past six (6) years is eligible as part of the lawsuit.

These Whistleblower and class action lawsuits have made headlines throughout the region such as the Pocono Record, the Express-Times, and the Morning CallThis story about the Musikfest beer steins was also published as far away as China.

If you believe that you are potentially a whistleblower or are subject to discrimination and would like to speak with an attorney experienced in New Jersey (NJ) or Pennsylvania (PA), please contact us for a free consultation.  We are available at (856) 685-7420 or through our website.

Posted in Whistleblowers, Wrongful Termination | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennsylvania (PA) has Recently Changed the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Law to Include an Offset for Severance Income

On January 1, 2012, Pennsylvania (PA) started applying severance income as an offset against unemployment compensation payments.  Prior to the Amendments to Act 6 regarding unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, severance payments were not considered in calculating the total benefits potentially received.  Employers often offer severance packages to former employees through which employees waive their rights to bring wrongful termination, whistleblower retaliation, failure to pay overtime, harassment or discrimination claims.  Now employers and employees alike must consider the effect of severance payments on unemployment compensation benefits.

According to the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Labor and Industry’s website, “[s]everance pay that exceeds 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s average annual wage is deducted from the claimant’s UC [benefits].”  For 2012, forty percent of Pennsylvania’s average annual wage of $44,919 is $17,800.  The Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Labor provides the following illustration of the new offset:

“A claimant receives $32,000 in severance pay. Forty percent of Pennsylvania’s average annual wage ($44,919 for 2012) is approximately $17,800. Therefore, $17,800 is subtracted from $32,000 to get $14,200, which is the amount of the claimant’s severance pay that is deductible. The claimant was earning $1,200 a week at the time of his separation. Accordingly, the deductible amount of severance pay is allocated at $1,200 per week to the first 12 weeks the claimant is unemployed. Because $1,200 exceeds the maximum weekly UC benefit rate, the claimant would not receive any benefits for this 12-week period.

As this illustration shows, the new change will not affect severance payments below $17,800.  Any offsets in UC benefits due to severance payments are taken on a weekly basis until exhausted whereupon Claimant can begin receiving UC benefits.  It is critical for employers and employees who are considering entering into a severance agreement in Pennsylvania (PA) to take the effect of severance payments on unemployment compensation into account.

Swartz Swidler, LLC, a Pennsylvania (PA) and New Jersey (NJ) employment and discrimination law firm offers free consultations and can provide guidance on this new unemployment compensation offset of severance payments.  If you would like a free consultation please contact us at (856) 685-7420. You may also contact us through our website, www.swartz-legal.com.

Posted in Unemployment, Unemployment Compensation, Wrongful Termination | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment