Stern show sponsor Reputation.com doesn't pay their employees
Law360, New York (September 18, 2013, 1:22 PM ET) -- Online public relations firm Reputation.com has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a class action in California federal court over the company's alleged failure to pay overtime wages to sales representatives, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
The class of 93 current and former employees, led by named plaintiffs George Marchelos and Amy Kassenbrock, asked U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers to grant final approval to the settlement at the parties' next scheduled hearing on Oct. 22.
“With an average award of over $7,000, the settlement provides substantial relief for class members,” the plaintiffs told the court. “The settlement also provides class members a recovery now, without the delays attendant with further litigation.”
The suit was launched in April 2012 against the site, which sells PR services to businesses and individuals to counteract unflattering content on the Internet.
The company's sales representatives claimed that, since 2010, they were required to work in excess of eight hours per day and 40 hours per week, but were not compensated for overtime hours, so they filed a suit asserting claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and California state laws.
After extensive discovery, the parties entered into discussions in October 2012 with a mediator, who set up the basic outline for the settlement, which the court has now been asked to approve — the judge granted preliminary approval to the deal in April 2013.
In their motion for final approval, the plaintiffs pointed out that class members have responded favorably to the pending settlement, with 86 of the 93 class members submitting claim forms and with no members objecting to or opting out of the settlement.
Included in the $1 million settlement fund is $300,000 to be set aside for attorneys' fees and costs arising out of the legal action. Payments to class members will be made according to the number of weeks each claims to have worked without overtime, taking into account the amount of his or her commission.
The plaintiffs added that this agreement is far superior to further prolonging the litigation.
“Particularly given the very real risks associated with continued litigation, the parties’ settlement easily satisfies the 'fair, reasonable and adequate' standard for final approval,” the plaintiffs said.
Attorneys for both parties did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
The plaintiffs are represented by Michael Rubin and Peder J. Thoreen of Altshuler Berzon LLP; and Cliff Palefsky and Keith Ehrman of McGuinn, Hillsman & Palefsky.
Reputation.com is represented by Kristen Garcia Dumont of Goodwin Procter LLP.
The case is Marchelos et al. v. Reputation.com, case number 4:12-cv-01899, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.