Best Ohio Wage Theft Attorney Answer: How do I know my overtime pay class action settled? When do I get my money from a class action? How much will I get paid from my FLSA class action? How do I get paid from a wage and hour class action?
In today’s society where it takes civil lawsuits to protect consumer and employee rights, there’s a strong chance that you have gotten a notification about joining or potentially qualifying for a class action law suit. Our employment lawyers have discussed class actions and various aspects of them in the past (Can I Bring A Class Action Overtime Case?; Does Just The Title Manager Stop Me From Getting Overtime Pay) if you would like to know more about the basics of class actions. But, after all is said and done and there’s a settlement, the main things people want to know is how much they will get paid and when they will receive their portion of the settlement.
While courts look at class actions all the time, there are some specific things courts look at when they are dealing with class or collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA“). Today, we discuss why it is important to find experienced wage and hour attorneys to help you when your employer is not paying you right.
Let’s take a step back and talk about the medical profession. We all have a family doctor who is general practitioner. We all trust our family doctor to help us with our day to day ailments and keep us healthy. But, would anyone want their general practice family doctor to perform their heart surgery or knee surgery? Of course not. Could you image your family doctor saying, “Hey, well, you need to have a cancerous tumor removed. While I don’t typically do that type of medical practice, I’ll give it a go for you.” Sounds ludicrous, right? But, this happens every day in the practice of law, and especially employment law. Many general practice lawyers or injury attorneys either need work or think that employment law should be easy enough. So, they offer to try it for clients. Again, this is akin to your family doctor or even a knee surgeon saying, “Well, all I have to do is cut you open and take out the tumor. Sounds easy enough.” Doctors and lawyers specialize in areas of practice for a reason. It allows them to focus and become skilled in the areas in which they practice and stay up to date on all the medical or legal developments.
In Gassel v. American Pizza Partners LP, the United States District Court District Court of Colorado addressed just one of these issues. The Court discussed some of the procedural things that needed to be completed before it could approve a recently entered into settlement agreement between both parties. In addition to requiring notice of the settlement to class members, the Court has to determine if the settlement agreement undermines the purpose of the FLSA, which is to protect employees’ rights from employers who usually have all of the bargaining power. To determine if the agreement is consistent, courts will look at the:
(1) presence of other similarly situated employees;
(2) a likelihood that plaintiffs’ circumstances will recur; and
(3) whether defendants had a history of non-compliance with the FLSA.
In Gassel, the Court also looked at whether the settlement award would be distributed in a fair and reasonable manner, and if the amount of attorney fees presented to the court was appropriate. The court found that there was no indication that the settlement award would be distributed in a fair and reasonable manner because Gassel’s attorneys failed to provide the court with a breakdown on how the settlement would be distributed to the class and how each class member’s portion of the settlement would be calculated. The court also rejected the amount Gassel’s attorneys requested for attorney fees because they failed to give the court any information, documents, or records that would support them being awarded the fee they claimed they were entitled to. This resulted in a delay in receiving settlement not only for Gassel but also for the countless other members of the class.
While you may be able to find any attorney who will file a class action suit, it is extremely likely that they don’t know the wrinkles involved with filing a collective action under the FLSA. That is why it is important to find the best qualified wage and hour attorneys to help you. If you want to make sure that you’re avoiding any delays, make sure to contact our firm immediately to speak with one of our employment lawyers.
If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of your wages for all of your lawfully earned overtime compensation at a rate of one and half times your normal wages as requires under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards laws or you are an nonexempt employee that has been misclassified as exempt or independent contractor, contact the attorneys at The Spitz Law Firm today for a free and confidential initial consultation. The wage and hour lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm will provide you with the best options for your overtime pay dispute situation. If you even think that you may be entitled to overtime pay that you are not being paid, call (216) 291-4744.
The materials available at the top of this overtime, wage and hour web page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “Am I entitled to overtime?”, “Does my job have to pay me for …”, “My paycheck is not right…” or “What do I do if…”, the your best option is to contact an Ohio overtime attorney to obtain advice with respect to FLSA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.