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ZYGOWSKI v. ERIE MORNING TELEGRAM

November 29, 1960

Feliks ZYGOWSKI, Plaintiff,
v.
ERIE MORNING TELEGRAM, INC., d/b/a Journal Publishing Co., Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLSON

In this non-jury case plaintiff sued defendant, a corporation, to recover unpaid compensation and overtime compensation claimed to be due him under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C.A. § 201 et seq. as amended. Plaintiff lays jurisdiction under Section 16 of the statute, 29 U.S.C.A. § 216. Defendant in its answer raised the defense that it was not engaged in interstate commerce and therefore was not subject to the provisions of the Act. However this position was later abandoned and defendant now concedes that it was subject to the act during the years 1956, 1957 and 1958. Plaintiff claims in his complaint the sum of $ 19,782, and in addition seeks reasonable counsel fees. Although plaintiff claims to have been engaged in work for the defendant over a longer period, he is confronted with the two year statute of limitations, so that the time involved here is for the period from April 29, 1956 until his discharge on April 11, 1958, suit having been brought on April 29, 1958.

The evidence was taken but not transcribed. The court's findings are based upon the requests made by counsel and the court's recollection of the evidence. Counsel have been heard at oral argument and briefs have been filed and duly considered.

 From the evidence the court makes the following:

 Findings of Fact.

 1. Plaintiff, Felix Zygowski, is an individual and resident of the City of Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

 2. Defendant, Erie Morning Telegram, Inc., is a Pennsylvania Corporation with its principal office and printing plant in the City of Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

 3. At all times hereinafter mentioned defendant was engaged in the printing and publishing business in Erie, Pennsylvania and a substantial portion of its production of goods was destined for and did pass in interstate commerce.

 4. Prior to 1953, the defendant corporation was owned by Joseph Wojciechowski, husband of Isabelle Wojciechowski.

 5. Upon his death Isabelle Wojciechowski became the sole owner of all the corporation stock and continued the operation of the business.

 6. Plaintiff, a native of Poland, had worked for a bank in Poland as a bookkeeper, had taken accounting courses in England, and had worked as a bookkeeper for the United States Army in England, and was generally familiar with accounting procedures.

 7. That Isabelle Wojciechowski was ignorant of accounting procedures.

 8. That about January 1, 1953, the plaintiff was employed as a bookkeeper by the corporation.

 9. On or about May 1, 1954, the plaintiff married Isabelle Wojciechowski, president and sole owner of the defendant corporation.

 10. That on or about May 1, 1954, Isabelle Zygowski called a meeting of all the employees, some five in number, and advised them that the plaintiff was the boss and would run the company, and that they should take orders from the plaintiff. From then on as the occasion required plaintiff hired ...


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