PHILADELPHIA, PA. – Two Philadelphia workers have filed a class action against Walmart, alleging that the company regularly failed to follow Philadelphia’s Fair Workweek Law. The workers are represented by Community Legal Services of Philadelphia and co-counsel from Lichten & Liss-Riordan P.C., Werman Salas, and Willig, Williams & Davidson.
The class action complaint was filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on July 19, 2022. The complaint alleges that Walmart systemically disregarded the requirements of the Fair Workweek Law and are liable for damages to the workers under the law. The alleged violations include failure to provide workers with good faith estimates of set schedules, provide and post work schedules with the required advanced notice, failure to compensate for late changes to work schedules, scheduling workers to shifts without the required time off or offer of additional compensation, and failing to offer additional shifts to current employees before hiring new employees, among other violations.
This is the first class action complaint filed against an employer seeking to recover under the Philadelphia Fair Workweek Law, which took effect in April 2020. The law provides for predictable scheduling requirements for service, hospitality, and retail workers, and only applies to larger employers who perform work in Philadelphia. Under the law, workers are entitled to receive their work schedules ahead of time and to be paid if the employer changes the schedule under certain circumstances, or to pick up additional shifts and to refuse additional shifts, and to take hours off between certain shifts.
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia was part of a coalition of labor and grassroots activists who worked to pass this law in Philadelphia, and later took part in drafting and negotiating implementing regulations together with community organizations, organized labor, and business representatives.
The Complaint alleges that Plaintiffs Symone Wilder and Donald Washington both experienced Fair Workweek violations throughout the time that they worked at Walmart, as did other workers who worked at Walmart in Philadelphia.
These violations had real consequences for the lives of workers such as Plaintiffs. For example, Walmart’s failure to provide consistent scheduling put a strain on Plaintiffs and other workers, as they tried to plan for childcare or juggle schedules in their lives. Workers who are deprived of a predictable schedule are entitled to predictability pay in the amount of one hour at the employee’s rate of pay, in addition to additional amounts as penalties for violation of the law.
CLS’s Employment Unit represents clients with employment-related problems, including tackling barriers to employment, seeking unpaid wages, and preserving jobs. The unit advocates at the national and state levels on low-income workers’ rights issues.
Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm that is dedicated to vindicating the rights of workers around the country through class action and individual litigation. The firm has brought and won landmark cases throughout the United States on behalf of workers who have been deprived of their wages, tips, and overtime, or wrongfully misclassified as independent contractors, or who have suffered discrimination or retaliation. The firm has been awarded the highest rating by virtually every recognized lawyer rating organization and has been recognized by numerous publications for its innovative and vigorous advocacy on behalf of workers.
Werman Salas P.C. is a national law firm that represents workers and consumers in negotiations and individual, collective and class action litigation across the United States. Courts, professional organizations, and clients regularly commend Werman Salas for being a pioneer in the fight for workers’ rights and in class action litigation. Courts regularly remark that Werman Salas has “an excellent national reputation” and are “leaders in advocating the rights of workers throughout the United States.” Osman, et al. v. Grube, Inc., 2018 WL 2095172 (N.D. Ohio, May 4, 2018).
Willig, Williams & Davidson is one of the largest and most respected union-side labor law firms in the United States. Founded in 1979, our accomplished and diverse legal team focuses on representing labor unions, employee benefit funds, individual working people and their families. For over 40 years, our mission has remained the same – to level the playing field by helping unions and working families navigate a complex and sometimes intimidating legal system.
To learn more information about the case, including how to join if you believe you were similarly harmed, please contact: Community Legal Services of Philadelphia at 267.765.6490.