No. 934 Pittsburgh, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County No. GD76-24289
Alan Frank, Pittsburgh, for appellants.
Anthony J. Polito, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Popovich, Montgomery and Hoffman, JJ.
[ 304 Pa. Super. Page 214]
The Plaintiff-Appellants filed the instant appeal following the dismissal of their Complaint by the lower court. The Appellants commenced their action in October, 1976 as a class action in trespass, and subsequently filed three Amended Complaints. The third and final Amended Complaint stated an action in assumpsit. It was filed in June, 1978. Thereafter, the Appellants filed a Motion for Certification of the action as a class action. The lower court conducted a hearing on the motion on July 23, 1980. By an Order dated September 15, 1980, the lower court entered a final order not only denying the Motion for Certification, but also dismissing the Amended Complaint on the basis that the Appellants had not filed their action within the applicable statutory period of limitations. On this appeal, the Appellants contest the lower court's action dismissing their claims, but do not challenge that part of the lower court order which denied their Motion for Certification of the case as a class action.
The Appellants were all former salaried employees of the Defendant-Appellee Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation.
[ 304 Pa. Super. Page 215]
Their final Amended Complaint asserted that they each performed services for the Appellee in excess of forty hours per week, while they were only paid for forty hours per week. In the first count, the Appellants averred that they had a right to recover damages as a result of such extra employment based upon the theory of "implied agreement". More particularly, they alleged that they had been expressly requested by superiors to perform extra work, and in such circumstances, the Appellee impliedly agreed to compensate them in a reasonable amount for performing such services. In a second count, the Appellants advanced a similar claim on a theory of unjust enrichment. That is, they claimed that the Appellee, in requesting and receiving extra services from them, either expected or should have expected to compensate them for the benefits of the extra services rendered. Thus, Appellants averred that the Appellee was obligated to pay them the fair market value of the alleged extra services performed.*fn1
The Appellee filed an Answer to the Third Amended Complaint, and also advanced New Matter. In addition, the Appellee set forth a third section in its response, which it captioned "Other Defenses". Under that heading, the Appellee raised the contention that some or all of the named Plaintiffs were barred from proceeding to recover wages because of the exclusivity of and/or time limitations provided in the Wage Payment and Collection Law.*fn2
This case was handled by Judge Silvestri in the lower court. In dismissing the claims of the named Plaintiffs, he accepted the Appellee's contentions regarding the Wage Law. More specifically, he held that the Plaintiff-Appellants had no justiciable claims because none had been employed
[ 304 Pa. Super. Page 216]
by the Appellee during a three year period of limitations immediately preceeding the filing of suit. In support of that rationale, he cited for authority his earlier decision in the case of Haft ...