United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION United States District Judge
Francis Crevatas is an employee of defendant Smith Management
and Consulting, LLC, (“Smith”), an oil and gas
field services company that provides consultants to clients
in Pennsylvania and other areas who perform work on oil and
gas rigs. Smith paid its consultants based on a day-rate.
Plaintiff was paid a day-rate of $350 for a full day of work
for Smith. Plaintiff alleged in this case that he and
Smith's other consultants were scheduled for shifts
lasting at least 12 hours and that they routinely worked over
40 hours per week. Despite working overtime hours, plaintiff
alleged that Smith failed to pay the consultants overtime
premium pay. Rather, Smith simply paid the consultants their
regular day-rate multiplied by the number of days they worked
during a given week. Plaintiff claims that Smith's
payment practices have caused him and other day-rate
consultants to work overtime hours without compensation in
violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates. Plaintiff
has sued Smith under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the
Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, on behalf of himself and other
day-rate consultants. The parties now seek court approval of
contends that he and the other day-rate consultants for Smith
are owed overtime pay for any hours worked in excess of 40
hours per week, as mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §§201,
et seq., and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act
(“PMWA”), 43 P.S. §§333.101, et
seq. Plaintiff brought suit against Smith on November
30, 2015, (Doc. 1), bringing a claim for violations
of the FLSA's overtime provision, 29 U.S.C.
§207(a)(1), and a claim for violations of the
PMWA's overtime provision, 43 P.S. §331.104(c). The
FLSA claim was brought as a collective action pursuant to
29 U.S.C. §216(b). The PMWA actions was brought
as a class action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23.
Plaintiff filed a motion for an extension of time for the
class certification deadline, (Doc. 10), and it was
granted by the court and postponed until a later date to be
determined. (Doc. 13). The parties later stipulated
that all individuals who, during any workweek since November
30, 2012, were paid, in whole or in part, on a daily basis by
Smith were conditionally certified as a collective pursuant
to 29 U.S.C. §216(b). (Doc. 21).
Plaintiff withdrew the Rule 23 class action claim, but the
parties acknowledged that plaintiffs who opt into the
collective action join the action for both the FLSA and PMWA
claims. (Id.). The court approved of the
stipulation. (Doc. 22). In addition to the original
plaintiff, 27 other day-rate employees opted in to the
collective action. As such, there are a total of 28
plaintiffs in this case. (Doc. 35-1 at 15).
March 1, 2017, plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion for
approval of collective action settlement, noting the
concurrence of Smith's counsel in the motion, with a copy
of the proposed settlement agreement. (Doc. 35, Doc.
35-1). Plaintiffs also filed their brief in support
on March 1, 2017. (Doc. 36).
1938, Congress enacted the FLSA to protect covered workers
from substandard wages and oppressive working hours.”
Friedrich v. U.S. Computer Servs., 974 F.2d 409, 412
(3d Cir. 1992) (citing Barrentine v. Arkansas-Best
Freight Sys., Inc., 450 U.S. 728, 739 (1981). The Fair
Labor Standards Act provides that:
“Except as otherwise provided in this section, no
employer shall employ any of his employees who in any
workweek is engaged in commerce or in the production of goods
for commerce, or is employed in an enterprise engaged in
commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, for a
workweek longer than forty hours unless such employee
receives compensation for his employment in excess of the
hours above specified at a rate not less than one and
one-half times the regular rate at which he is
29 U.S.C. §207(a)(1). Thus, employers covered by the
FLSA must pay overtime compensation to employees who work for
more than 40 hours a week “unless one or another of
certain exemptions applies.” Packard v. Pittsburgh
Transp. Cp., 418 F.3d 246, 250 (3d Cir. 2005).
PMWA, like the FLSA, provides that employees shall receive
overtime wages of “not less than one and a half
times” their regular wage for any hours worked after
forty in a work week. 43 P.S. §333.104(c). Pennsylvania
courts have looked to federal law regarding the FLSA in
applying the PMWA. Baum v. Astrazeneca LP, 372
F.App'x 246, 248, n. 4 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing
Commonwealth of Pa. Dept. of Labor and Indus., Bureau
of Labor Law Compliance v. Stuber, 822 A.2d
870, 873 (Pa.Commw. 2003), aff'd, 859 A.2d 1253 (2004)
(applying “federal case law” regarding the FLSA
to a PMWA claim). The Pennsylvania courts have determined
that “it is proper to give deference to federal
interpretation of a federal statute when the state statute
substantially parallels it.” (Id.).
their brief, (Doc. 36 at 7), plaintiffs explain as
Under FLSA and PMWA regulations, overtime-eligible day-rate
employees are entitled to extra half-time pay for all hours
worked over 40 per week. See 29 C.F.R.
§778.112; 34 Pa. Code §231.43(b). The extra
overtime premium pay is calculated through a three-step
methodology: (1) all day-rate payments received by an
employee during the week are totaled; (2) the total payments
are then divided to determine the “regular rate”
paid for the week; and (3) for every hour worked over 40, the
employee receives an extra overtime premium payment equaling
50% of the regular rate. See id.
move for court approval of their proposed settlement
agreement as well as their proposed award of attorneys'
fees. Smith has concurred in plaintiffs' motion. The
court will now discuss the proposed settlement agreement and
the award of attorneys' fees and costs.
employees present a proposed settlement agreement to the
district court pursuant to Section 216(b), the Court may
enter a stipulated judgment if it determines that the
compromise ‘is a fair and reasonable resolution of a
bona fide dispute over FLSA provisions.'” Brown
v. TrueBlue, Inc., 2013 WL 5408575, *1 (M.D.Pa. Sept.
25, 2013) (citing Cuttic v. Crozer-Chester Medical
Center,868 F.Supp.2d 464, 466 (E.D.Pa. 2012); see
also Adams v. Bayview Asset Mgmt., LLC, 11 F.Supp.3d
474, 476 (E.D.Pa. 2014) (court indicated that Department of
Labor supervision or court approval ...