Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Rules that 8/80 Rule Violated Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act

The Court of Common Pleas for Lehigh County recently issued an order finding that a senior care provider violated the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”) by paying its hourly employees represented by Winebrake & Santillo under the “8/80 Rule.” In a case titled LeClair v. Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, the Court held that prior to a July 2012 amendment, the PMWA required that employees receive overtime premium pay for all hours worked over 40 in a “workweek” defined as “a period of 7 consecutive days.” Diakon had paid its hourly employees pursuant to the 8/80 Rule where they received overtime premium pay for hours worked either in excess of eight in one 24 hour day or in excess of 80 hours in a 14 day pay period. This pay practice, the Court held, violated the PMWA prior to July 2012 when Governor Corbett signed an amendment into law that would allow Pennsylvania healthcare providers to utilize the 8/80 method of pay. Click here for a copy of the opinion. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act allows healthcare providers to utilize the 8/80 Rule to calculate overtime compensation so long as certain prerequisites are fulfilled. The LeClair opinion follows the March 2010 ruling of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in a similar challenge to the 8/80 method of compensation that Winebrake & Santillo and co-counsel obtained in a case called Turner v. Mercy.

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