BY: Jason J. Thompson | IN: Class Action & Commercial Litigation, Employment Law
Metro PCS Wireless agreed to pay a $1.85 million settlement to resolve allegations of wage and overtime violations. The class action lawsuit, involving more than 150 account services representatives, claimed that the company violated various state labor laws as well as the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Law360 (subscription required) reported that the settlement addresses claims made under New York and California statutes and will allow MetroPCS to avoid costs and uncertainties related to taking the case to trial.
Named plaintiffs Karen Palma and Hallie Selgert initially filed the collective action in 2013. The telecom giant unsuccessfully argued that class did not warrant certification because it was essentially a duplicate of an unrelated case filed by the plaintiffs’ attorneys. In September 2013, the parties reached a $550,000 settlement for the federal claims, but Judge Virginia M. Hernandez of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida would not approve a settlement of the New York and California state law claims, citing the Court’s lack of jurisdiction.
The plaintiffs then filed an action in New York County Supreme Court in September 2014 where Justice Cynthia S. Kern approved the parties’ settlement of the state law claims in late 2014, for a total settlement of $2.4 million.
It is reported that 54 New York class members will each receive more than $13,000, and the remaining 92 California employees will receive approximately $12,400 each.
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Jason Thompson is a nationally board certified trial attorney and co-chairs Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Department. He has a formidable breadth of litigation experience, including class action and multidistrict litigation (MDL), and practices nationwide in both state and federal courts.