Anapol Weiss’s David Senoff Secures Superior Court Win in McDonalds Debit Card Case

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Oct 26, 2016 11:46:11 AM

If you missed the recent Pennsylvania Superior Court decision regarding the use of debit cards by some McDonalds franchises to pay employees, you can catch up on it in these recent news articles. 

Bloomberg

Courthouse News Service 

The Legal Intelligencer  

Anapol Weiss Shareholder David Senoff helped lead the team that senoff2.jpgsecured the unanimous appellate court victory. 

Topics: Payroll Debit Cards

Pennsylvania Superior Court Unanimously Affirms Ruling in McDonalds Debit Card Decision

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Oct 24, 2016 3:37:29 PM

In a unanimous decision, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has upheld the decision of a Common Pleas Court, ruling that 16 McDonalds restaurants violated the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL) by requiring their employees to accept debit cards as their form of payment.

Such use of debit cards for payroll purposes stood in direct opposition to Pennsylvania law that states that “wages shall be paid in lawful money of the United States or check.”

senoff2-1.jpgPlaintiffs in the case, represented by Anapol Weiss attorney David Senoff, were subject to fees for nearly every transaction in order to access their wages using their payroll debit cards.

“As a result of the court’s decision, employees who were defrauded by their employers at McDonalds are now one step closer to obtaining justice,” Senoff said. “I’m pleased that both the Common Pleas Court the Superior Court recognized that these employees deserve to get paid as the law requires.” 

The Superior Court was unpersuaded by both the defendants’ argument that a debit card is the “functional equivalent” of a check or lawful money and the amicus argument put forth by the American Payroll Association (APA) that an employer may satisfy the requirements of the WPCL when “lawful money or a check is not involved by depositing an employee’s wages into an account at a financial institution.”

The full Superior Court ruling can be found here: Superior Court Ruling in McDonalds Payroll Case.pdf

 

Topics: Payroll Debit Cards

Are More PA Employees Paid Exclusively Through Payroll Debit Cards?

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Jan 12, 2016 3:30:00 PM

payroll_debit_cards.jpgA recent article published in The Legal Intelligencer highlighted notable opinions from Pennsylvania’s state and federal courts with regard to class action lawsuits. One of the cases mentioned was the recent class action filed on behalf of 2,380 former and current McDonald's employees whose franchisee had paid them with fee-laden debit cards.

The Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas certified a class action in Siciliano v. Albert/Carol Mueller T-A McDonalds, No. 2013-07010 in May 2015. The plaintiffs alleged that their employer's exclusive use of payroll debit cards instead of cash or check forced them to pay to access their own money. The system,  they argued, violated Pennsylvania's Wage Payment and Collection Act. The court certified the lawsuits as a class action and ruled in June 2015 that the franchise owners broke the law.

After the court’s ruling, it is clear that according to Pennsylvania law, there is currently no exception for employees to be paid by a payroll debit card. However, there are likely other Pennsylvania employees – and not just those who work for McDonald’s – who have no choice but to deal with these fee-laden debit cards.

We believe other employees in Pennsylvania are being paid exclusively through payroll debit cards and are therefore paying fees to access their own earnings. Contact Anapol Weiss for assistance if you are a Pennsylvania employee who receives payment exclusively through a debit card system.

 

David Senoff is a partner at Anapol Weiss who specializes in class action lawsuits. David's practice focuses on insurance and managed care bad faith cases, class action litigation involving insurance coverage disputes, consumer class actions and complex personal injury litigation including medical malpractice actions.

Topics: Payroll Debit Cards

Tips for Temporary Holiday Employees in Pennsylvania

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Dec 9, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Retail companies, restaurants and other businesses often hire additional employees to work during the holiday season and manage the influx of customers. While seasonal employees may only work for a few weeks or months, they still have to be proactive in ensuring they are being paid properly and their legal rights are being honored.

Below are a few tips if you’re applying for a temporary job this season.

temp_holiday_employee_tips.jpgYou Have Rights

The same laws involving harassment, discrimination, and workplace safety apply to seasonal workers as they do to other employees, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Further, both part-time and full-time employees have equal rights regarding minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping and child labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Keep Payment Records

According to the National Consumers League, temporary holiday employees must make sure they are being paid the amount they are owed by saving all payroll stubs and double-checking the following:

  • Number of hours worked
  • Rate of pay
  • Paycheck deductions
  • The legal name of the employer

To help employees calculate how much they should be earning, the U.S. Department of Labor has created a free smart phone app that tracks hours worked and determines the amount employers owe.

Know Your Payment Options

Businesses frequently offer many payment options for employees, and it’s important for employees to know which choices are available to them. Some employers offer a payroll debit card as an option, but in Pennsylvania, these systems cannot be the sole form of payment available to employees.

In fact, a judge ruled in 2015 that a Pennsylvania McDonald's franchise owner broke the law by requiring employees to be paid solely by payroll debit cards. The cards are riddled with transaction fees that force users to pay to access their own money.

Other Pennsylvania businesses may be breaking the law by paying employees exclusively with payroll debit cards. Employees are urged to contact a lawyer if other options are not being made available to them.

Topics: Payroll Debit Cards

3 Important Questions About Payroll Every New Employee Should Ask

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Dec 4, 2015 3:30:00 PM

debit_cards.jpgOnce you've landed a new job, it’s important to speak with your employer about how you will be paid. Employees have a right to know about how their payroll works and how they will access their money.

Below is a checklist of essential questions to ask your employer when you’ve been hired.

  1. What are my payment options?
  2. How will I be paid?
  3. If a debit card payment system is required, will I not get the job if I refuse?

Why Ask?

Some employees in Pennsylvania are being paid exclusively with payroll debit cards, which force employees to pay unfair fees to access their own money. Employers may be breaking the law if they solely offer payroll debit cards as payment.

Contact Anapol Weiss if you are a Pennsylvania employee receiving payment by a mandatory payroll debit card.

Topics: Payroll Debit Cards, Employee Rights

PA Employees Receiving Payroll Debit Cards: What You Need to Know

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Dec 1, 2015 3:56:08 PM

Payroll_Debit_Card_Case.jpgA judge ruled in June 2015 that Pennsylvania McDonald's franchise owners Albert and Carol Mueller broke the law by paying thousands of employees with mandatory payroll debit cards that were brimming with fees.

The ruling in Luzerne County was a victory for more than 2,000 plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit, which argued that the card system forced employees to pay to access their own money. But for attorney David Senoff, who serves as Co-Lead Counsel in the class action, the battle isn’t quite over yet. Senoff believes there are many more Pennsylvania employees – not just at McDonald’s – who have no choice but to receive their pay through a debit card system and deal with the fees that come with it.

“We believe other employees in Pennsylvania are being paid exclusively through a payroll debit card and are therefore paying fees to access their own earning,” Senoff said.

According to the ruling, the Muellers violated the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Act because the J.P. Morgan Chase payroll cards are not “lawful money of the United States” or a “check.” The cards that were issued to the Pennsylvania McDonald’s employees carried transaction fees including a $1.50 charge for ATM withdrawals, $5.00 for over-the-counter cash withdrawals, $1.00 to check the card’s balance, and other charges.

While some other states allow the use of debit cards for payroll, employees in many of those states have cards as an option rather than an exclusive form of payment. Nevertheless, Pennsylvania law – and the Court’s recent ruling – makes clear that there is currently no exception for employees to be paid by a payroll debit card.

Pennsylvania employees who receive payment exclusively through a debit card system are urged to contact Anapol Weiss for assistance.

Topics: Payroll Debit Cards

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