Medical office worker sues for wrongful termination

By Jon Campisi | Aug 4, 2011

A former medical office worker who claims she was fired after a long career for bringing up overtime compensation qualms with her boss is suing her former employer in federal court.

Dresher, Pa. attorneys Peter Winebrake, R. Andrew Santillo and Mark J. Gottesfeld, of The Winebrake Law Firm, LLC, filed the employment discrimination lawsuit Aug. 2 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Philadelphia resident Ada Flores.

The defendants in the lawsuit are Wayne, Pa.-based Arun K. Mohanty, a doctor, and his medical practice, Arun K. Mohanty, P.C., located at 135 Lehigh Avenue in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood.

According to the complaint, Flores worked for Mohanty from November 1986 until June 22 of this year. She typically worked Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., earning a base pay of $455 per week.

Despite being an “excellent employee,” and working much more than 40 hours a week, Flores was never given overtime pay, the lawsuit states.

“Plaintiff, whose compensation barely exceeded the federal poverty level for a single individual, reasonably understood that she should receive overtime compensation for her long work hours,” the lawsuit states. “Accordingly, Plaintiff began complaining to Dr. Mohanty about the fact that she was required to work substantial overtime hours without receiving any extra pay.”

In June of this year, the lawsuit claims, Flores took her complaints to a meeting with her boss, who, after hearing of the worker’s demands, decided to terminate Flores’ employment.

“Defendants’ termination of Plaintiff’s employment was motivated entirely by their desire to discriminate against Plaintiff due to her assertion of her reasonably perceived right to overtime pay,” the complaint reads.

The lawsuit claims that Mohanty violated both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Act.

The lawsuit also contains an “unjust enrichment” count. The claim here is that the defendants received a “direct and substantial benefit from the unpaid work performed by Plaintiff under circumstances that do not support Defendants’ retention of the unpaid wages.”

Flores seeks reinstatement of her employment, unpaid wages and compensatory damages, compensation for emotional pain and suffering, punitive damages, litigation costs and other relief deemed appropriate.

Flores is demanding a jury trial.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-04926-JD.

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