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Man filed suit alleging the Cooper Twp. Mun. Authority violated labor standards

Updated: May 18

For immediate release

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania man has filed suit against the Cooper Township Municipal Authority for allegedly violating the Federal Fair Labor and Standards Act and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law and Minimum Wage Act.


According to a complaint filed in the Western District Court of Pennsylvania, Plaintiff Donavan Allen began working as a water operator for the Cooper Township Municipal Authority in 2014. Mr. Allen alleged he was initially hired as an hourly employee, but, in June 2018, he was moved into a salaried position. At this time, the board of the Cooper Township Municipal Authority did not discuss with him how he would be compensated for overtime hours, according to the complaint.

Over the course of the next several months, Mr. Allen regularly worked more than forty hours per week, he alleged. According to the filing, he was not compensated for the overtime hours, and the board only offered him “compensatory time” to make up for the extra hours that he worked. Then, in May 2019, Mr. Allen received a check for his recent overtime work accompanied by an instruction by the board to only work forty hours in a given week, according to the complaint. Additionally, as alleged in the filing, Mr. Allen was informed that any compensatory time he had accrued was required to be used on a “use it or lose it” basis.

Mr. Allen alleged that he was then put in charge of an inventory project. According to the complaint, he was told to work as many hours as necessary in order to complete the project. Then, in August 2019, the board of the Cooper Township Municipal Authority met and informed Mr. Allen that “as a salaried employee, there was no obligation to offer him either overtime pay or compensation time,” according to the filing. Lead Attorney Benjamin Ferris asserted in the complaint that Mr. Allen is a non-exempt employee and qualifies to be compensated for all of overtime hours.

According to the filing, in October 2019, Mr. Allen, again, raised the issue of his compensation during an executive session of the board. At that point, he was allegedly told that if he did not like the business practices of the Cooper Township Municipal Authority, then he should find a different job. Attorney Ferris further asserted that the municipal authority failed to compensate Mr. Allen for the overtime hours that he worked, with the exception of the check that he received in May 2019.

The two-count complaint alleges violations of the Federal Fair Labor and Standards Act and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law and Minimum Wage Act. Under the Fair Labor and Standards Act, non-exempt employees are entitled to time-and-a-half payments for overtime hours, according to the complaint. The same is true under the Pennsylvania law, asserted Attorney Ferris.

The complaint was filed in February 2020.

Ruppert Manes Narahari is a Pittsburgh-based employment law firm representing workers who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, or cheated by their employers. The firm also provides business law-related services and represents small businesses and entrepreneurs in startup, transactional, and litigation matters.

For more information on the claims made by Mr. Allen against the Cooper Township Municipal Authority, contact the law office of Ruppert Manes Narahari at 412-626-5626.

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