From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
A Pennsylvania county isn’t subject to increased liability for its failure to track employees’ work hours because its record-keeping error wasn’t willful, a federal appeals court ruled ( Souryavong v. Lackawanna County , 2017 BL 331645, 3d Cir., No. 15-03895, 9/20/17 ).
A willful violation can be costlier for an employer because it extends the recovery period for a federal overtime claim from two years to three.
The employees worked multiple jobs for Lackawanna County, which failed to aggregate workers’ hours across the positions in determining whether they were entitled to time-and-a-half pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a week.
There was evidence that the county made bureaucratic errors that could be attributed to “government morass,” but its failure to pay correctly doesn’t rise to a level of “recklessness or ill will” that may demonstrate willfulness, Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie wrote Sept. 20 for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
“We conceded early on in the litigation that it was an oversight,” Harry Coleman, an attorney in Carbondale, Pa., who represented the county, told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 20. In order to show willfulness, the employees had to demonstrate “some kind of personal animus, which was totally lacking here,” he said.
The workers’ attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Sept. 20.
The appeals court decision affirmed a lower court’s ruling for the county on the question of willfulness. Judges Thomas L. Ambro and L. Felipe Restrepo joined the opinion.
Cynthia Pollick with the Employment Law Firm in Pittston, Pa., represented the workers. Harry Coleman, an attorney in Carbondale, Pa., represented the county.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Terence Hyland at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the opinion is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Michael_Souryavong_et_al_v_County_of_Lackawanna_et_al_Docket_No_1?doc_id=X1Q6NTBLGMO2.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)