Pete Winebrake Photo
  • Bio
  • Credentials
  • Education & Background
  • Memberships
  • Speaking Engagements

Pete Winebrake

Pete Winebrake is the founder and managing partner of Winebrake & Santillo, LLC. He has litigated hundreds of employment rights lawsuits in courts throughout the United States and has recovered many millions of dollars for his hard-working clients and their families.

Pete’s individual lawsuits tend to be filed in the federal courts of Pennsylvania. However, his class and collective action lawsuits have been successfully resolved in courts throughout the United States.

In addition to his extensive trial court practice, Pete has argued cases at the federal and state appellate courts that have resulted in landmark opinions advancing the rights of workers.  For example, in Heimbach v. Amazon.com, Inc., 255 A.3d 191 (Pa. 2021), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act’s conception of compensable work hours extends well behind the confines of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  Meanwhile, in Knepper v. Rite Aid Corp., 675 F.3d 249 (3d Cir. 2012), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the right of workers to simultaneously pursue state law class action claims and federal law collective action claims in the same lawsuit.

Pete has made presentations as a guest lecturer at various at various educational institutions, including the law schools at Vanderbilt University, Temple University, and Drexel University, and at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  Pete also has lectured at CLE programs sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law; the Pennsylvania Bar Institute; the Workplace Injury Litigation Group (WILG); the Ohio Association of Justice; the American Association of Justice (AAJ); National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA); the American Law Institute (ALI); and the Lackawanna County (PA) Bar Association.  In June 2919, Pete testified at the United States House of Representatives regarding federal overtime law at a hearing conducted by the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the Committee on Education and Labor.

Pete dedicates substantial time to pro bono activities.  He is a longstanding mediator with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania’s mediation program.  In the federal and state appellate courts, he has drafted amicus curiae briefs on behalf of many worker’s rights organizations, including the AFL-CIO, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the National Employment Law Project, the Economic Policy Institute, and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.

Awards:

  • As stated above, Pete consistently is recognized as a “Super Lawyer” and has received an “AV-Preeminent” ranking from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating System.
  • The Bar Association of the City of New York presented him with its annual prize for outstanding achievement as a municipal lawyer.
  • The Fraternal Order of Police presented Pete with an award in recognition of his unselfish commitment to law enforcement and the citizens of Philadelphia.
  • The Pennsylvania Statewide Latino Coalition presented Pete with an award recognizing his tireless efforts fighting for the civil rights of Pennsylvania’s Latino community.
  • Pete has been appointed by the Federal Court to serve on the Mediation Panel of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Publications:

  • Pete has published articles in various publications, including the Temple Law Review, the Detroit College of Law Review and the Pennsylvania Township News.

Education & Background:

Pete Winebrake is a 1988 graduate (magna cum laude) of Lehigh University and a 1991 graduate (cum laude) of Temple University School of Law, where he served as Managing Editor of the Temple Law Review.

Upon law school graduation, from September 1991 through August 1992, Pete served as a law clerk to Justice William R. Johnson of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

From September 1992 through February 1997, Pete served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department’s General Litigation Unit. In this capacity, he represented New York City agencies and officials in federal civil rights and employment lawsuits and other complex litigation.

In 1997, he joined the Philadelphia law firm of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP as a litigation associate. There, he worked on complex litigation matters in the federal and state courts.

In 1999, he returned to public service, joining the Philadelphia Law Department. In this capacity, he represented City agencies and officials, including former Mayor Edward Rendell, in high-profile and complex federal civil rights matters. In 2001, Pete was appointed Chief Deputy City Solicitor in charge of the Philadelphia Law Department’s Labor and Employment Unit. As the City’s chief labor and employment lawyer, he managed a staff of eleven attorneys and oversaw all municipal labor and employment matters for the City of Philadelphia.

In 2002, Pete joined the Philadelphia law firm of Trujillo Rodriguez & Richards, LLC. There, he litigated and resolved a wide variety of complex lawsuits arising under federal and state wage and hour, employment, and civil rights laws. In January 2007, Pete founded The Winebrake Law Firm, LLC, which later changed its name to Winebrake & Santillo, LLC. The firm concentrates on Federal Court litigation seeking to vindicate the rights of employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and similar state wage and hour laws. These lawsuits are brought both as individual cases on behalf of one or more workers and as class/collective actions on behalf of large numbers of similarly situated workers.

    Bar Admissions:

    • State of New York (since 1993)
    • State of Pennsylvania (since 1997)
    • U.S. Supreme Court (since 2014)
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (since 2012)
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (since 2012)
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (since 2003)
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (since 2018)
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (since 2013)
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (since 1993)
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (since 1993)
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York (since 1996)
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York (since 2016)
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (since 1998)
    • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (since 2002)
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (since 2008)
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (since 2010)
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (since 2010)
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (since 2016)
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (since 2017)

    Speaking Engagements:

    • “Wage & Hour Compliance and Litigation 2023,” Practising Law Institute (PLI), New York, NY – Winter 2023.
    • "Current Wage and Hour Issues," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- Spring 2022
    • "Wage and Hour Law During COVID," Lackawanna County (PA) Bar Association -- October 2020
    • "The Largest Settlements and Judgments and the Most Important Defense Victories in State Law," American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee Midwinter Meeting, Los Cabos, Mexico -- February 20, 2020
    • United States House of Representatives testimony at hearing entitled “Restoring the Value of Work: Evaluating DOL’s Efforts to Undermine Strong Overtime Protections” conducted by the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the Committee on Education and Labor, Washington, DC -- June 12, 2019
    • "Wage and Hour Update," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- Spring 2019
    • "Embracing a 'New Federalism' In The Fight For Workplace Justice," National Employers Lawyers' Association, Wage and Hour Conference, Denver, CO -- Spring 2019
    • "The Nuts & Bolts of a Wage & Hour Case from Intake to Resolution," National Employers Lawyers' Association 2018 Annual Conference, Chicago, IL -- Summer 2018
    • "Wage and Hour: What's New?," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- Spring 2018
    • "Wage & Hour Update," Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) -- Winter 2018.
    • Guest Lecturer, Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville, TN -- Fall 2017.
    • "Significant Developments, Recent Trends and Emerging Issues in Wage & Hour Law". Litigating Wage & Hour Cases: Challenges and Opportunities. National Employment Lawyers Association. Silver Springs, MD -- Spring 2017.
    • Guest Lecturer, Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville, TN -- Fall 2016.
    • "Recent Developments in Wage and Hour Law". Employment Law: Essentials and Best Practices, American Law Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2015.
    • "Hot Topics in Wage and Hour / Avoiding Ethical Mistakes in Wage and Hour Law," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2015.
    • "How to Succeed in Arbitration". 2015 Annual Convention, American Association for Justice, Montreal, Canada -- 2015.
    • "Establishing and Growing an Employment Law Practice," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2015.
    • "Significant Legal Developments". Protecting Pay: Representing Workers With Wage & Hour Claims, National Employment Lawyers Association, Washington, DC -- 2015.
    • "Other On-the-Job Issues: Wage & Hour," American Law Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2014.
    • "Various Topics". Basics of Wage and Hour Law, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2014.
    • "Year in Review: What’s New in Employment Law," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2014.
    • "Wage and Hour Class/Collective Actions," Philadelphia Bar Association, Philadelphia, PA -- 2014.
    • "Fluctuating Workweek – Is it Dead in Pennsylvania? / Independent Contractor Misclassification," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2013.
    • "Wage and Hour: Class Certification/Decertification Motion Practice". The New York City Conference on Representing Employees, National Employment Lawyers Association, New York, NY -- 2013.
    • Various Programs, 2nd Annual Wage & Hour Symposium, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2012.
    • "Litigating Wage and Hour Cases – Tips from the Front Lines. Basics of Wage and Hour Law: Getting Paid in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2012.
    • "What to Look for in a Plaintiff for a Wage & Hour Case". 18th Annual Employment Law Institute, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelhia, PA -- 2012.
    • Various Programs, 1st Annual Wage and Hour Symposium, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2011.
    • "Hot Topics in FLSA Coverage". Basics of Wage and Hour Law, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Mechanicsburg, PA -- 2010.
    • "Running a Plaintiffs-Side Law Firm," Drexel University School of Law, Philadelhia, PA -- 2009.
    • "Wage & Hour and the FLSA," Sterling Education Services, Inc., Scranton, PA -- 2008.
    • Various Topics, Litigating Wage and Hour Cases, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA -- 2006.
    • "Making the Fair Labor Standards Act Work for Your Clients". 11th Annual Conference and CLE, Workplace Injury Litigation Group (WILG), Lake Buena Vusta, FL -- 2006.
    • "Overtime Coverage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act". 2005 Annual Convention, American Trial Lawyers Association, Toronto, Canada -- 2005.

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