Preliminary Approval Granted for $7.3 Million Settlement in Wage and Hour Case

by Norman B. Blumenthal on September 22, 2017

blumenthal nordrehaug & bhowmik, southern california employment law, southern california employment law attorneys, jailhouse lawsuit, overtime pay, overtime lawsuit

A $7.3 million settlement was

granted preliminary approval by a California federal judge, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller, for a class of sales representatives alleging Wyndham Worldwide Operations Inc. committed wage-and-hour violations.

Judge Miller allowed the proposed settlement to move forward in order, in part, to fully satisfy claims from more than 2,000 vacation sales employees alleging Wyndham paid strictly sales commissions, resulting in non-payment for completed work that didn’t result in a sale.

According to the deal, two cases covering the same class of timeshare sales workers would be combined (California’s Central District and Southern District both have cases filed). It also includes a provision allowing plaintiffs’ legal counsel to seek up to one third of the full settlement amount (approx. $2.4 million) in attorneys’ fees.

At the preliminary stage, the judge indicated that the agreement appears to fall in a reasonable range. It is expected that it will be given final approval by the court.

The original suit was filed by a former Wyndham timeshare saleswoman, Michelle McGrath, in June 2015 in California state court. McGrath alleged that Wyndham was not providing sales’ workers wages and proper breaks in accordance with the law. She further alleged that strictly commission payment meant required work that wasn’t sales activity was not compensated with the minimum wage required by law. The following month, Wyndham removed the case to federal court. The parties fought over a bid for class certification, but eventually ended up in mediation working on a potential settlement to resolve the dispute.

In March 2017, another former saleswoman, Veronica O’Boy, filed another suit with overlapping claims and overlapping parties in Orange Superior Court. The suit was removed to California’s Central District.

These are the two cases that would be resolved with the proposed settlement. Wyndham denies any wrongdoing.

If you have experienced wage and hour violations and need a lawyer, please contact one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.

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