Pennsylvania quickly became a go-to state for class-action lawyers after retail giant Wal-Mart lost a big case here last year. Don’t be vulnerable to high-dollar claims—have your attorney review your wage-and-hour rules now to avoid getting slammed by a class-action suit.
Recent case: Robert Zelinsky and Jeff Loughner worked as assistant managers for Staples. They sued the office supply chain under Pennsylvania law, alleging they had been improperly classified as exemptemployees. They claimed they routinely spent more than half their time on nonmanagerial tasks. They sought to make it a class-action suit.
Staples argued they should have sued under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which makes it harder to sue on behalf of all similarly situated employees. But the court disagreed and let the case move forward under Pennsylvania law. (Zelinsky, Loughner v. Staples, No. 08-684, WD PA, 2008)