LOS ANGELES — After initially denying approval of a proposed settlement in September, a federal court in California finally approved a nearly $3 million settlement of a class action overtime suit filed by a class of pharmacists against CVS Pharmacy Inc. The agreement provides approximately 715 class members with $2,546, and also calls for the payment of attorneys’ fees of $979,200. This settlement is the latest in a string of settlements of overtime suits by CVS employees, including a $7.4 million settlement with 1,600 pharmacists in California and a $2.3 million settlement brought in the same state.
Court’s Opinion on First Attempt at Settlement
Initially, the federal court rejected the proposed settlement agreement. The parties initially proposed a $2.94 million settlement of claims, and the court wanted the parties to provide more justification for the gap between the plaintiffs’ initial $4.26 million claim and the proposed settlement. The court indicated that their cursory reasoning regarding the costs of continued litigation did not provide a sufficient basis for the gap between the two amounts.
The plaintiffs then filed a renewed motion for approval, explaining that the amount requested was based on the number of alleged overtime violations within the region where the class resided. The court then stated that he would grant preliminary approval if it would require potential objectors to notify counsel and the court of their objections.
California Labor Code Provisions for Overtime
The plaintiffs in this case claimed that CVS violated California labor code by requiring pharmacists to work more than six days in a row without paying time and a half overtime pay for the hours worked on the seventh day. Under the California labor code, employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than six days in any workweek is only allowed if the employee is paid for the overtime at not less than one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked above eight hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. Additionally, employees must be paid overtime at a rate not less than double the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked beyond 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked beyond eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
Settlement agreements of FLSA claims should sufficiently redress damages suffered by employees whose wage rights were violated and, therefore, court or Department of Labor approval is always required. If you believe your FLSA rights to minimum wage and overtime have been violated, you should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.