Northeast Phila. convenience store faces suit alleging failure to pay overtime

By Jon Campisi | Sep 18, 2013

A Northeast Philadelphia convenience store is being accused of failing to pay one of its employee’s overtime.

Panna Amin filed a civil action Sept. 16 against Shelmire Convenience Inc., which does business as the Mayfair Mini Market, over allegations that the business has failed to compensate her for hours worked over 40 per week.

The retailer, which is located along the 7400 block of Torresdale Avenue in Philadelphia’s Mayfair neighborhood, first hired the plaintiff in the fall of 2009, the record shows.

Throughout the course of her employment, Amin worked “significant hours over forty per workweek,” states the complaint, which was filed at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia by attorneys James A. Bell, IV, and Christopher A. Macey, Jr., of the Philadelphia firm Bell & Bell.

The plaintiff claims she recorded her work time reflecting the overtime hours spent at the business, and despite having submitted the time to reflect the overtime, the defendant never paid Amin time-and-a-half, but instead paid the woman straight time for the hours.

Furthermore, the minimart paid Amin only a small portion of her wages “on the books,” the lawsuit states, with the defendant paying the plaintiff a substantial amount of her compensation in cash without deductions and without paying wage taxes to the federal government and other taxing authorities.

“Upon information and belief, all or nearly all of the employees of the [defendant] are paid in this way to evade payment of appropriate taxes,” the lawsuit reads.

Beginning last summer, the complaint states, the defendant even began to fail to pay Amin for even the straight time she worked, which would have been her agreed upon hourly rate of $12 per hour.

From early June of last year up until the present date, the plaintiff worked more than 2,085 regular time hours plus more than 1,540 hours of overtime, according to the civil action.

“Ms. Amin has suffered significant financial losses as a proximate result of the actions and inactions of Defendants, to date, the regular time and overtime wages she has earned that remain unpaid exceed $27,000 without travel time, or $35,000 if travel time is included,” the complaint reads. “Despite Ms. Amin’s complaints, Defendants have not paid any portion of the wages due to Ms. Amin for hours she worked but for which she was never paid.”

Additional defendants named in the litigation are business owners Kalpesh Patel, Swapana Patel and Kirit N. Patel.

The complaint accuses the defendants of violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Act and Wage Payment and Collection Law.

Amin seeks front pay and lost wages, in addition to liquidated damages, compensatory and punitive damages.

The plaintiff also seeks attorneys’ fees, interest and costs.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-05380-AB. 

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