Massachusetts Supreme Court backs P.F. Chang workers

By Marian Johns | Apr 17, 2019

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Court has reversed an appeals' court denial of motion for class certification and remanded a case involving P.F. Chang workers' allegations of wage law violations to the trial court. 

According to the April 12 court filing the court reviewed the a motion from Felice Gammella, on behalf of himself and a putative class of P.F. Chang employees, for class certification and P.F. Chang's China Bistro's,motion for dismissal. 

The court reviewed whether the Massachusetts Wage Act and the state's "reporting pay" requirement specify a different class certification standard and if an offer made only to the plaintiff is moot after being rejected and appealed. 

In the case, Gammella and co-workers who worked at several Boston area restaurants owned by P.F. Chang, allege they were denied pay for reporting to work despite being scheduled for three or more hours and then "involuntarily dismissed and forced to clock out." The plaintiff alleges the defendant violated Massachusetts state law that requires an employee who shows up to work and is scheduled to work three or more hours but then is not given the expected hours of work, must be paid at least three hours on that day and at least the minimum wage. 

The court concluded the plaintiff "met his burden" in demonstrating correct class certification under state laws and reversed the lower court's decision to deny motion for class certification. The court also found that defendant's motion to dismiss for mootness "was improperly granted" and remanded the case to a lower court. 

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