Overtime Case Settles Against Labor Ready for up to $4.5 Million

We live in a world in which everyone constantly feels like they don’t have enough time, which is why most of us hate to feel like anyone is wasting our time. That feeling only gets worse when we don’t have any control over it, such as when our employer keeps us waiting.

According to a recent wage and hour lawsuit filed against Labor Ready, a temp agency, the company allegedly kept its temporary workers waiting to receive assignments without paying them for the time they spent waiting. The company also allegedly refused to pay them for the time they spent traveling to their assignments and also allegedly charged them a fee to cash their paychecks.

Most workers don’t think of the time they spend traveling to and from work as time they should be paid for, but there are certain instances in which that time is compensable. For those who work at the same location every day and simply commute between home and work, no payment for that time is required. On the other hand, some workers who are required to travel between different work sites in the course of a day should be paid for the time they spend traveling between sites.

The same goes for those who need to check in at one location before traveling to another site to perform their actual tasks for the day. This can sometimes be the case for those working for temp agencies when they’re technically employed by the temp agency, but the work they’re actually doing is for the agency’s client, usually at a separate location.

Jeffrey A. originally filed his lawsuit against Labor Ready in 2009 and it has been bouncing between the various California courts for the past seven years. They finally agreed on terms to settle the wage and hour lawsuit and a district judge has granted preliminary approval of the settlement.

Class actions normally settle out of court, but the process can be almost as complicated as continuing to pursue the dispute in the courts. Potential class members need to be identified and then notified of both the lawsuit and the potential settlement. Members of the current class action have been notified twice, but less than 5% responded to the second notification.

Both parties have different theories as to why this might be the case. Attorneys for Labor Ready argue it indicates the class members don’t accept the terms of the settlement, in which case it might not truly represent their best interests. But attorneys for the plaintiffs argue that sending a second notification could have been confusing for the class members, many of whom may have assumed that responding to the first notification was sufficient and so they didn’t feel the need to respond to the second.

Under the terms of the settlement, each class member will receive either $10 or $25, depending on their claim. Labor Ready has agreed to pay up to $4.5 million to settle the dispute, including $1.2 in attorneys’ fees and costs. But the amount is conditional upon the number of class members that opt into the settlement. As it currently stands, the claims of the combined plaintiffs who responded to either the first or second notification reaches more than $358,000, plus legal fees.

Our Berwyn and Downers Grove wage and hour and employment law attorneys and unpaid overtime lawyers and attorneys are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages. We represent call center workers who are forced to work overtime but are not paid time and half wages.

Nationwide Consumer Rights is based in Chicago and Oak Brook. We represent clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at 630-333-0333 or through our online form.

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