Two former health inspectors for a Southeastern Pennsylvania municipality filed separate civil actions against the borough in federal court March 29, alleging each was improperly compensated.
The first suit was filed by Joan Healy, who began her career as a health inspector for the Borough of Eddystone back in July 2002.
Throughout her employment with the municipality, Healy was not exempt from the minimum wage or overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act because she did not receive a weekly guaranteed salary, the complaint alleges.
Between March 2009 and this past February, Healy routinely worked in excess of 30 hours per week, and sometimes in excess of 40 hours per week, yet the borough failed to pay her proper minimum wage and overtime compensation, the suit contends.
The lawsuit claims that Healy was not required to keep a record of her time worked and the defendant failed to maintain accurate time records as well, something required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Defendant unlawfully failed to pay minimum wages and/or overtime compensation to the plaintiff during her employment by intentionally, willfully and improperly designating her position as exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements,” the lawsuit states.
Healy estimates that she suffered lost wages during the aforementioned time period to the tune of about $49,000.
The suit also claims that Healy is entitled to liquidated damages in roughly the same amount.
Healy also seeks reimbursement for attorney’s fees and other costs.
The lawsuit also accuses the defendant of gender and age discrimination, alleging that borough officials treated her differently than other employees because she was a 78-year-old woman.
Healy was fired late last month. She was told she was being let go because her position was being eliminated.
“The defendant’s proffered reason for plaintiff’s termination is false and was mere pretext used to mask the true discriminatory reasons for her termination,” the lawsuit states. “The true reasons why plaintiff was terminated was because she complained of discrimination to the EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] based upon her age and gender.”
The second lawsuit contains similar accusations. The plaintiff, Kathleen M. Riley, who, like Healy, lives in Eddystone and also worked for the borough as a health inspector, alleges that she is owed $18,558 in unpaid wages dating back to late March 2009.
Like Healy, Riley also seeks the same amount in liquidated damages as pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Riley’s suit claims that the borough routinely and regularly failed to pay her the applicable minimum wage and overtime wages, claiming Riley wasn’t eligible for these wages under the law.
Riley’s complaint also contains counts of age and gender discrimination, alleging that she was treated differently than younger, male coworkers.
“Defendant’s agents acted against plaintiff in a bigoted, willful and malicious manner,” the lawsuit states.
Riley’s lawsuit also alleges that she was subjected to humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish as a result of her treatment.
In addition to the disputed lost wages, Riley also seeks unspecified punitive and exemplary damages, damages for pain and suffering, attorney’s fees and other non-pecuniary losses.
Both lawsuits were filed by Media, Pa. attorney Richard B. Bateman and Philadelphia lawyer Samuel A. Dion.
The Riley case number is 2:12-cv-01572-RK and the Healy case number is 2:12-cv-01573-RK.