PHILADELPHIA – A former services manager for a Philadelphia children’s social services organization says the group violated Pennsylvania’s wage payment laws, when it allegedly refused to compensate her for back pay.

Shirley Joanis of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Feb. 14 versus Northern Children’s Services, also of Philadelphia.

Joanis says she was hired by the defendant in August 2016 as a Therapeutic Services Manager, where she would work 10 months and be compensated $42,000 over a 12-month period. Five months later, in January 2017, Joanis was offered and accepted the position of School Therapeutic Service Clinical Manager – a substantially-similar role which would see Joanis also work 10 months and received increased annual compensation, of $47,500.

On July 5, 2017, Joanis was separated from her employment with Northern Children’s Services after working the full 10 months specified by her contract. However, despite written demand and no good faith attempt to make the outstanding payment whole, NCS allegedly refused to pay her for her last four-and-a-half pay periods, for a total of $8,221.14

For counts of breach of contract and violation of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment & Collection Act and Pennsylvania Wage Theft Ordinance, the plaintiff is seeking damages of $8,221.14, pre-judgment interest, 25 percent liquidated damages, penalties of $2,300 per violation as permitted by law (totaling in excess of $50,000) attorney’s fees, costs of litigation and any other damages that the Court deems just.

The plaintiff is represented by Obinna I. Abara of Abara Law Firm, in Conshohocken.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180201166

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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