Some general and employment law firms dedicate only a small portion of their efforts to wage and overtime rights lawsuits. Others may represent both employers and workers on these issues. At Winebrake & Santillo, we dedicate our full attention to representing workers. The overwhelming majority of cases we accept are directly related to wage and overtime law, but we also handle cases related to a select number of other worker’s rights issues. In every case, we make sure to place employee interests first.
Our attorneys have over 70 years of combined legal experience. You can rest easy knowing that you’re working with a wage-and-hour law firm that knows what it takes to pursue cases against large corporations and their legal teams. Additionally, we have secured millions of dollars on behalf of hard-working employees in Philadelphia, including many record-setting case settlements. Based in Philadelphia, we represent workers throughout Pennsylvania and across the U.S.
Whether you’re dealing with a wage and hour case or another employment claim, contact our firm to discuss your options.
Employment Lawyers in Philadelphia
Protecting Employee Rights with Diligent & Comprehensive Legal Guidance
Filing an employment law violation claim can be a daunting task, fraught with complexities and legal intricacies. It requires an employee to meticulously document instances of perceived violations, grapple with the challenge of gathering concrete proof, and often confront a convoluted legal system. This process can be overwhelming, and any missteps can potentially undermine the validity of the claim. It’s in these challenging circumstances that our team can provide support and legal guidance.
We have experience tackling common employment law issues, including:
- Wrongful Termination Cases: Representing employees unjustly dismissed from their jobs, possibly due to discrimination or retaliation.
- Discrimination Claims: Representing employees who have been treated unfairly due to their race, gender, age, disability, or other protected characteristics.
- Harassment Cases: Handling claims involving workplace harassment, including sexual harassment and bullying.
- Wage & Hour Disputes: Assisting employees in cases where employers have failed to pay proper wages, overtime, or have misclassified workers.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Violations: Representing employees whose rights under the FMLA have been violated.
- Retaliation & Whistleblower Claims: Advocating for individuals who have faced retaliation for reporting illegal activities or unsafe conditions at work.
- Employment Contract Disputes: Assisting in cases where employment contracts or agreements have been breached by the employer.
An employment law attorney can offer vital support in navigating through your workplace claim, no matter its nature. With extensive knowledge of federal and state employment laws, our team at Winebrake & Santillo can help identify unlawful practices and construct a strong case. We can assist in collecting and organizing evidence, filing all necessary paperwork, and negotiating settlements. Additionally, if your case proceeds to litigation, you can rely on our experience to represent your best interests in court.
Types of Employees We Help
Whether you are facing discrimination, wrongful termination, wage issues, or retaliation, our Philadelphia employment law attorneys strive to ensure your rights are protected and that you’re adequately compensated for any damages suffered.
In the restaurant industry, servers, runners, bartenders, and other front-of-house employees who receive tips are often paid less than minimum wage. This is only legal under certain conditions. For example, employees must spend most of their time in direct contact with customers and their tips must bring their wages above the federal and state minimums. Additional laws vary from state to state (and sometimes from city to city). We can help you determine whether you can pursue a claim under local and federal laws.
Hourly employees are sometimes asked to perform certain duties related to their job outside of work hours. This can include things like preparing work equipment or putting on specialized gear when they enter their work facility. This unpaid time can quickly add up. Over several years unpaid wages can amount to hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars across the employees of a single company.
Salaried workers may think they’re not eligible for overtime pay. However, overtime pay exemptions apply to only select positions across a company. All other salaried employees are still eligible for the same overtime rate as their hourly coworkers—1.5 times their hourly rate. We have a strong track record of success representing workers whose overtime was withheld or miscalculated, with many of our class action cases adding up to millions of dollars.
Home Health Employees
Home health is a growing industry, but sometimes it can be difficult for home health workers to assert their overtime pay rights because of certain “standards in the industry.” However, it’s important to know that industry standards don’t make these practices legal. Employers are still not allowed to pay these healthcare professionals less than the state- and federally-established overtime rate, even if they’re paid “per visit.”
Misclassifying employees as “independent contractors” is one of the most pervasive methods of wage theft. The federal government sets the standard for classifying workers as independent contractors and employees. Businesses are not permitted to hire a worker as an independent contractor if they actually fulfill the duties and obligations of an employee. This misclassification only benefits the company, because it gives them a way of (illegally) limiting employee benefits and protections, including overtime pay benefits.
Warehouse workers are regular targets for unfair labor practices. They’re frequently hired as independent contractors and, regardless of classification, forced to work overtime hours without receiving proper compensation. However, warehouse workers are not typically overtime-exempt employees and are still entitled to the same protections as other workers under local and federal laws. We help represent workers whose employers attempt to misclassify them and withhold their overtime pay privileges.
Our Philadelphia labor law attorneys offer free consultations to workers facing unfair wage and overtime practices. Call us today at (215) 866-1551.
Wrongful Termination Attorneys in Philadelphia
It is illegal to terminate employees based on protected characteristics such as:
- National origin
- Disability/health conditions
Additionally, it is illegal to terminate an employee in retaliation for complaints lodged concerning workplace discrimination, unfair wages, unsafe working conditions or vehicles, workplace injury claims, or requests for reasonable accommodations for an employee’s medical condition.
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated from your job, we would be happy to provide you with a free and confidential consultation.
Call us today at (215) 866-1551 to schedule your appointment.
Employment Attorneys for Restaurant Workers in Philadelphia
Restaurants are allowed to pay servers, food runners, and bartenders an amount less than the minimum wage if certain legal requirements are met. The problem is that restaurants often pay workers less than the minimum wage without meeting the legal requirements. When this happens, our firm is here to help.
Under the law, restaurants can pay employees less than the minimum wage only if:
- The employees have direct contact with restaurant customers
- The employees collect enough customer tips to push their earnings over the minimum wage
- None of the employees’ tips are shared (either individually or through a “tip pool”) with managers, expediters, or kitchen staff
- The employee does not spend over 20% of their time performing tasks not related to customer service.
If the restaurant violates any of these requirements, it must pay the full minimum wage.
Restaurants can violate wage laws by engaging in conduct such as:
- Requiring servers to perform cleaning or other duties before or after the paid shift
- Failing to make extra overtime payments when employees work over 40 hours in a week
- Failing to pay overtime to salaried “assistant managers” who have few managerial responsibilities
- Deducting tips to cover credit card fees
Our Restaurant Worker Case Settlements in Pennsylvania & Nationwide
Our firm has enjoyed great success in representing restaurant employees in minimum wage lawsuits. In March 2013, a federal judge in Scranton, PA approved a $1.3 million settlement our firm obtained for servers employed at a chain of Red Robin hamburger restaurants in Pennsylvania. In the lawsuit, we alleged that the restaurants violated the federal and state wage laws by requiring the servers to share tips with expediters who primarily worked near the kitchen area.
Similarly, in November 2016, a federal Judge in Philadelphia, PA approved a $1.29 million settlement our firm obtained for servers and bartenders at several Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This lawsuit also concerned the allegation that servers and bartenders were required to share with expediters who did not directly service customers.
Our firm is currently handling cases on behalf of many restaurant employees, including a North Carolina lawsuit on behalf of over 1,000 International House of Pancakes servers who challenge the restaurant chain’s right to make them spend over 20% of their time performing non-tipped work and a Pennsylvania lawsuit challenging a Philadelphia restaurant’s right to require servers to “tip-out” kitchen employees at the end of the shift.
Record-Setting Firm Fighting for the Rights of Employees Throughout Pennsylvania
At Winebrake & Santillo, we are committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate legal representation in all matters related to employment law. Our legal team stays up to date on the latest developments and regulations to ensure our clients receive the thorough attention they deserve. In addition to our extensive wage and overtime rights practice, our Philadelphia employment law attorneys have experience representing employees in a wide variety of employment rights lawsuits.