TAMPA — MetroPCS Wireless Inc, a telecommunications company acquired by T-Mobile USA Inc. in 2013, has reached a settlement with its account service representatives who alleged they were denied overtime wages in violation of federal and New York and California state labor laws. The $1.85 million settlement resolves the claims that had not been resolved when the group’s federal collective action was settled.
The Representative Claim
In 2013, Karen Palma and Hallie Selgert, account service representatives for MetroPCS, initially filed their collective action in Florida federal court. The two plaintiffs sought to represent MetroPCS services representatives across the country. According to their claim, the plaintiffs alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state laws, including New York and California.
MetroPCS argued against the court’s granting of class certification, but the court rejected its argument and the plaintiffs were granted conditional class certification. Class certification allowed the plaintiffs to include the potential damages of other potential class members in their settlement calculations. The Florida federal judge, however, was unable to make a ruling regarding the federal violations because the court did not have jurisdiction to resolve the alleged state violations. After Palma and another plaintiff, Yvonne Pacheco, filed the claim in New York state court, in September 2014, the federal court judge agreed to the settlement of the federal claims.
Despite the fact that MetroPCS has continually and strongly denied that the account service representatives are entitled to overtime wages, in December 2014, the parties submitted the proposed settlement agreement to a New York state judge for approval, which they received. This settlement came after the parties gained the approval from a federal judge for their $550,000 settlement agreement for the federal claims the service representatives raised. With the approval of the New York settlement, the account service representatives have a total settlement value of $2.4 million.
From the New York settlement, 54 class members in New York will receive around $13,000 each while 92 class members in California will receive around $12,000 each. And 69 class members will split the $550,000 federal settlement award. The $2.4 million was the maximum amount MetroPCS was willing to pay in settlement.
If you are aware of a class action associated with your employer and your position or you believe you have a potential class action wage or overtime pay claim, you have a limited time to respond or file your own complaint. Contact our team of overtime pay lawyers today to discuss your situation and options at (855) 754-2795 or our experienced legal team can evaluate your claim when you complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.