PA Supreme Court Denies Appeal by McDonalds lawyers
Pa. Justices Won't Hear Payroll Card Class Action Challenge
By Matt Fair
Law360, Philadelphia (May 24, 2017, 5:19 PM EDT) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear an appeal of a decision in a wage class action agreeing that a McDonald's franchisee ran afoul of state wage laws by requiring employees to accept their pay on debit cards.
The justices agreed to leave standing a decision by the Superior Court finding that the plain language of the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Law limited employers to cash and checks as a means of disbursing earnings to workers, and that debit cards used by a McDonald’s franchisee were a clear violation.
The justices issued no opinion accompanying their one-page order denying the appeal, and an attorney for the franchisees declined to comment when reached Wednesday.
Carol and Albert Mueller, who operate more than a dozen McDonald’s franchises in Pennsylvania, were slapped with a class action in Luzerne County court in August 2013 on behalf of nearly 2,400 workers who claimed they were illegally paid via JPMorgan Chase payroll cards rather than by cash or check.
According to court records, the Muellers used the payroll cards over a three-year period from November 2010 to July 2013.
A Luzerne County judge agreed to allow the case to move forward in May 2015 after denying a summary judgment motion from the franchisees arguing that the cards passed muster under the WPCL because they could be readily converted to cash.
The trial court, however, noted that the law had been drafted in the early 1960s, long before debit cards could have been contemplated as a form of payment, and that the issue was one of first impression in the state.
The Superior Court, given the uniqueness of the issue, agreed to hear an interlocutory appeal in the case despite the fact that the case remains pending.
The appeals court, however, ultimately sided with the trial judge.
“The WPCL states that wages ‘shall be paid in lawful money of the United States or check,’” the Superior Court’s opinion said. “The language is clear. A debit card is not ‘lawful money’ and it is not a ‘check’ as contemplated by the drafters of the WPCL.”
While the Supreme Court refused to hear the dispute Wednesday, it is within the realm of possibility that the matter could end up before the justices as part of an appeal after a final decision in Luzerne County.
The workers are represented by Michael Cefalo of Cefalo & Associates, and David Senoff and Sol Weiss of Anapol Weiss.
The Muellers are represented by Rachel Satinsky, Matthew Hank and Paul Sopher of Littler Mendelson PC, and Daniel Brier and Nicholas Kravitz of Myers Brier & Kelly LLP.
The case is Alisha Siciliano et al. v. Albert/Carol Mueller etc., case number 823 MAL 2016, before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
McDonalds appeals Decision
The Superior Court Agrees with what we've been saying all along.
Employers Can't Mandate Use of Payroll Debit Cards
The full Superior Court ruling can be found here: Superior Court Ruling in McDonalds Payroll Case.pdf
This leaves us one step closer to getting the justice our clietns deserve.
Arguments were held in Superior Court on March 15, 2016.
Luzerne County Judge:
Payroll cards not legal tender in Pennsylvania
Read the story at this link: http://timesleader.com/news/news/153798035/
Plaintiffs advised not to cash refunds in McDonald’s case
By Bob Kalinowski
Published: May 23, 2015
I hate Corporate America, and I’ll bet you do, too.
Here’s one more reason why…
...employers forcing employees to receive earned wages through a debit card with fees.
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