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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSEPH GIUGLIANO (02/25/86)

filed: February 25, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
JOSEPH GIUGLIANO, APPELLANT



Appeal from the judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Snyder County, Criminal, No. 100 - 1980.

COUNSEL

Isadore E. Krasno, Pottsville, for appellant.

Richard C. Lengler, Harrisburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cavanaugh, Cercone and Lipez, JJ.

Author: Lipez

[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 164]

Defendant, the secretary-treasurer of Cheryl Ann, Inc., was convicted of forty-two counts of the summary offense of failure to pay wages due to employees of Cheryl Ann, Inc., under section 3(a) of the Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL).*fn1 43 P.S. § 260.3(a) (Supp.1985). Defendant was sentenced to pay fines totaling $4200, and ordered to pay court costs. On appeal, a panel of this court vacated the sentence and remanded so that defendant could have an opportunity to file post-verdict motions. Commonwealth, Department of Labor and Industry v. Giugliano, 318 Pa. Super.Ct. 32, 464 A.2d 503 (1983). On remand, defendant's post-verdict motions were denied, the sentence was reimposed, and defendant took this appeal. Because we

[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 165]

    agree with defendant that the evidence failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was within the class of persons who can be held criminally liable under the WPCL, we reverse the judgment of sentence and discharge the defendant.*fn2

The problems presented by the issue in this case primarily involve statutory construction. We must first clarify which sections of the WPCL can serve as the basis for criminal liability when the employer is a corporation. The opinion of the court below agrees with the Commonwealth that there are two separate bases for finding defendant criminally liable under the WPCL. The first of these involves subsection (b) of the criminal penalties section, which provides in pertinent part that "any employer who violates any provision of this act shall be guilty of a summary offense." 43 P.S. § 260.11a(b) (Supp.1985). The Commonwealth contends that the term "employer" is defined for purposes of this subsection by the definitions section of the WPCL, which provides:

The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

" Employer." Includes every person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, receiver or other officer of a court of this Commonwealth and any agent or officer of any of the above-mentioned classes employing any person in this Commonwealth.

43 P.S. § 260.2a (Supp.1985). The Commonwealth argues that defendant fell within the ...


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