NEW YORK — Hundreds of health club employees in California will share in a recently approved $2.9 million overtime claim settlement. In addition to their unpaid overtime, the health club employees will be compensated for denied meal breaks going back four years, from June 2007 through June 2013. Equinox Holdings Inc., the parent company for the twelve California Equinox health clubs, has agreed to settle the class action wage claim.
According to the overtime claim, nearly 276 membership sales advisors for Equinox were allegedly misclassified as exempt and denied overtime pay and proper meal breaks. Adding to the supposed misclassification, Equinox also allegedly failed to keep adequate work and payroll records, which is in violation of California state law. Work and payroll records allow for proper classification and overtime calculations.
Outside sales employees, those who make sales outside of the employer’s main location, are generally the only sales positions classified as exempt and not entitled to overtime. Membership sales advisors at Equinox give advice on membership sales, sell memberships, and sell other club services like training sessions and spa treatments. Their responsibilities were primarily within the clubs, which would likely make them inside sales people who, with some exceptions, are entitled to overtime and meal breaks.
A class action settlement amount usually does not go directly to class members, nor is it divided equally among all class members. Class actions are usually done on a contingency basis. Meaning the lawyers representing the class will cover costs, but do not receive payment unless there is a settlement or the class wins the lawsuit in court. For this reason, settlements will usually give a certain percentage to the class counsel. Also, the lead plaintiffs will frequently be allotted an enhanced settlement offer to cover the time and effort they spend assisting counsel in bringing the lawsuit for the class. These provisions will be explained in any settlement offer and must be approved by class members before the final offer is submitted for court approval. Additionally, a court will review the final settlement offer, including lawyers’ fees and enhanced settlements, to insure that the offer is fair to all class members. In this case, the overall settlement amount is $2.9 million; class counsel will receive about a third of the settlement offer. And the two lead plaintiffs will receive an enhanced settlement amount of $15,000.
If you are an inside sales employee and believe you have been improperly denied overtime or have questions regarding a proposed settlement offer, call our knowledgeable team of overtime pay lawyers today at (855) 754-2795 to discuss your situation. Or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page and our top rated legal team will evaluate your case. 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.