$5.95 Million Settlement Reached in Record Time in California Overtime Suit

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A California overtime pay class action suit is setting records – in how quickly a settlement can be reached. Final approval was granted by a California federal judge for a $5.95 million settlement to resolve the class action brought by service managers against Ecolab Inc. alleging California overtime law violations.

Court records show that the plaintiff class alleged improper classification as overtime exempt. In reality, workers were due overtime for any hours worked in excess of 8 hours in any given day, and 40 hours in any given week. The terms of the settlement indicate that the class includes 158 workers. Each should receive $442 per week of work in accordance with the terms of the settlement.

In addition to the $442 per week of work, the five class representatives will receive an additional allotment of $5,000. $15,000 will be paid to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and $9,000 will be paid to the claims administrator.

Some say the speed with which the parties reached a settlement is due to the fact that it follows on the heels of another, similar case against Ecolab. The other case against Ecolab, Ross v. Ecolab, ended in a $35 million settlement in March 2016. The settlement in Ross v. Ecolab was preceded by seven years of litigation. Campos v. Ecolab was filed in August 2016 and was in mediation after only three months. Final approval for the proposed $5.95 million settlement was granted within a year of the original lawsuit filing.

Both Ross v. Ecolab and Campos v. Ecolab included allegations of misclassification and failure to pay overtime. In Ross v. Ecolab, the class was made up of dishwasher servicers, and employees undertaking promotion and marketing tasks for Ecolab’s line of cleaning products. Campos v. Ecolab plaintiffs sought similar relief, but class members were route managers and service managers that were not included in the previous lawsuit. The quick resolution of the case is due in large part to work already done in the Ross litigation. In fact, due to the known association between the two cases the judge handling the case decreased the legal fees given for handling Campos v. Ecolab as most of the heavy lifting was already taken care of due to the prior Ross v. Ecolab.

If you are worried about not receiving overtime pay, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.