McDonald’s Franchise to Pay $3M for Serving Workers Debit Cards

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By Leslie A. Pappas

The owners of 16 McDonald’s franchises in Pennsylvania will pay more than $3 million to settle a class action over a requirement that workers receive their pay on debit cards ( Siciliano v. Albert/Carol Mueller , Pa. Ct. Com. Pl., No. 2014-8688, order granting final approval of class action 10/24/17 ).

The settlement resolves a case involving more than 2,000 employees who between Nov. 5, 2010, and July 2013 were forced to receive wages on payroll debit cards instead of cash or checks. A Pennsylvania appeals court ruled in October 2016 that paying employees with payroll debit cards didn’t satisfy state law at the time.

The defendants, franchise owners Albert and Carol Mueller and JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., will pay each employee $1,250, according to an order approving the award and attorneys fees. Attorneys will receive a total of $858,505, plus a separate payment of $35,000 for administering the settlement, the order says.

“We were very happy that the judge approved the settlement,” David Senoff, an attorney for the workers, told Bloomberg Law Oct. 25.

Awards Not Reduced by Attorney Fees

The settlement provided for full reimbursement for fees and bank surcharges that the 2,203 affected employees incurred during the period that payroll cards were mandated by the employer, plus an additional $100, Senoff said.

The settlement also pays attorneys’ fees and costs separately and does not take attorneys’ costs out of the employees’ award, he said.

Attempts to reach the Muellers’ attorneys by phone and email Oct. 25 were unsuccessful.

Senoff is with Anapol Weiss in Philadelphia. Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman LLC attorneys William Caroselli in Pittsburgh and Lauren Fantini in Philadelphia and Michael Cefalo of Cefalo & Associates in Philadelphia also represented the McDonald’s workers.

Matthew Hank, Paul Sopher, and Rachel Fendell Satinsky of Littler Mendelson P.C. in Philadelphia and Daniel Brier and Nicholas Kravitz of Myers, Brier & Kelly LLP in Scranton, Pa., represented the Muellers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie A. Pappas in Philadelphia at LPappas@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com

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