construction workers

Judge Grants Preliminary Approval of $4.5M Wage Deal Against Labor Ready


construction workers

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson preliminarily approved a wage deal to settle wage claims against Labor Ready Southwest Inc. The case was originally filed seven years ago and alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and California Labor laws for shorting day laborers for time spent waiting for assignments and travel time and for charging them a fee to cash their pay checks.

A small group of former Labor Ready workers objected to the wage deal settlement, arguing that the relief granted to workers was not sufficient because it was mostly non-monetary. However, a previous appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that the non-monetary relief agreed to in the settlement did have value to workers.

During the preliminary approval hearing Mr. Thierman pointed out that as a direct result of the lawsuit, Labor Ready must now notify workers of available jobs via text messages, rather than making them physically check in at hiring halls, and that Labor Ready has stopped using its fee-charging check-cashing machines. Thierman added that the deal was good for the class members because they would be entitled to “100 cents or better on the dollar” on the fees previously charged by the check-cashing machines.

In his order granting preliminary approval, Judge Pregerson noted “the long and complex history” in the case and held that the settlement appears to be fair, adequate, and reasonable to the class.

Instructions on how workers can claim their portion of the settlement will be included in a Notice packet consisting of the actual Notice of the Settlement, a claim form, opt-out form, and deadlines will be mailed out within thirty (30) days of the Judge’s Order, which was signed on April 26, 2016.

Plaintiff Jeffrey Allen is represented by Mark R. Thierman, Joshua D. Buck, and Leah L. Jones of Thierman Buck LLP, Joseph Cho and Ronald H. Bea of Aequitas Law Group APLC, Shaun Setareh of the Law Offices of Shaun Setareh, Louis Benowitz or the Law Offices of Louis Benowitz, and Christopher J. Canlas of Canlas Law Group.

Labor Ready is represented by David R. Ongaro and Cara R. Sherman of Ongaro PC

Full Case Information

Some article content sourced from Law360.

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