Court Rules Landscapers Pled Sufficient Facts Alleging Co-Defendant is a Joint Employer
Judge Michael Baylson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania today ruled that two landscapers, Jose Bedolla and Andres Perez, have pled sufficient facts to proceed with their claims for unpaid overtime against Lewis Brandolini and Brandolini Companies. The landscapers, one of whom claims he was fired by Brandolini for complaining about not being paid overtime, argue that they were jointly employed by Brandolini Companies and its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Brandolini, because they were subject to the joint direction and control of both. Among other things, the landscapers alleged that while working at Brandolini’s personal residence they were required to wear uniforms bearing the name and logo of Brandolini Companies, their paychecks included the address of Brandolini Companies corporate headquarters, and Brandolini Companies’ employees administered the payroll for Brandolini. Brandolini Companies moved to dismiss the claims as to them, arguing that they did not employee Bedolla and Perez, and that both had not alleged sufficient facts to proceed with their claims.
Judge Baylson denied Defendant’s motion, writing ‘[W]hen taken in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs, the allegations do not fail to state a claim that [Brandolini Companies'] exerted “significant control” over [Plaintiffs]. The facts alleged are sufficient at this stage in the litigation to proceed on a joint employment theory against both Brandolini and [Brandolini Companies].” Judge Baylson’s decision can be found here. As they have consistently alleged, both Brandolini and Brandolini Companies supervised Bedolla and Perez and directed their work. With Judge Baylson’s ruling, they can now proceed with their claims against both.
Conway Legal’s managing partner, Jason Conway, hails Judge Baylson’s decision as a win for common sense. “It is incredible that a defendant who demands its employees wear its uniforms and issues their paychecks out of its corporate headquarters would contend, in litigation, that it has absolutely no relationship with those individuals. Judge Baylson recognized what we have argued all along - that Brandolini Companies wanted the world to see that it employed Bedolla and Perez. We look forward to proceeding with their claims and, ultimately, prevailing at trial.”
Conway Legal has significant experience litigating and winning claims for unpaid overtime on behalf of individuals working in the retail, restaurant, financial, banking, and landscaping industries. If you have questions concerning your entitlement to overtime, give Jason Conway a call. We’ll listen. Then fight for you.