PITTSBURGH – A Harwick woman is suing the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, in an effort to get back overtime wages.
Stephani L. Ezatoff of Harwick filed a lawsuit Feb. 2 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, alleging a violation of the Fair Labors Standards Act.
Ezatoff, who began her working for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on Jan. 31, 2013 performing closed captioning, alleges that when she worked more than 40 hours per week in 2013, she was paid an overtime rate of 1.5 times her normal hourly rate. She says she signed a new agreement in April 23, 2014, not understanding the difference between an employee and an independent contractor.
The complaint states on May 5, 2014, Ezatoff's employer claimed her as independent contractor, while she was still continuing to report to the same managers when she was a W-2 employee. The suit says that other people who performed closed captioning were considered W-2 employees by her employer.
According to the lawsuit, because Pittsburgh Cultural Trust does not consider Ezatoff an employee, it did not pay her for overtime for work of more than 40 hours per week and that she was instructed to never note on her ``invoices” that she worked more than 30 hours in a given week.
During a Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Board of Review hearing on Aug. 24, 2015, her employer’s management admitted to authorities there was no change in work when she was an employee to an independent contractor, the suit says.
Ezatofff seeks payment of lost overtime wages at the rate of 1.5 times per her regularly hourly rate, liquidated damages in an amount equal to lost overtime wages, plus reasonable attorney fees and costs. She is represented by attorney Christine T. Elzer of Elzer Law Firm LLC in Pittsburgh.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Case number 2:16-cv-00134