A Few Cases Stating that Employee Rights Under the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law Can be Predicated in Violations of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act

In several cases, Pennsylvania companies and their lawyers have convinced judges to hold that the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (“PWPCL”) does not give employees any wage or overtime rights beyond those for which the employer is contractually obligated (through either a written or oral contract) to pay. Notably, however, a few Courts have disagreed with this interpretation of the PWPCL and have held that, even in the absence of a written or oral contract, a PWPCL violation can be predicated entirely on an employer’s violation of the overtime rights provisions of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”). These cases include Lugo v. Farmers Pride, Inc. 967 A.2d 963 (Pa. Super. 2009), and Zebroski v. Gouak, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81817 (E.D. Pa. Sept 9, 2009). Lugo concerned the overtime rights of Pennsylvania food processing employees, while Zebroski concerned the overtime rights of waitresses and other restaurant employees.
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