What is the case about?
On June 27, 2014, we filed a collective action against Defendant Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority ("CMHA") on behalf of the named Plaintiff Elkanard Smith and all other similarly-situated individuals in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
The action alleges that CMHA violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay employees for work they performed during 10-minute grace periods before and after their shifts.
Per CMHA's "Recording Hours" policy, employees were permitted to clock in and begin working up to 10 minutes before the beginning of their shift, and clock out and stop working up to 10 minutes after the end of their shift. The policy can be obtained here. Recording Hours Policy.
However, when employees clocked in and performed work within the 10-minute window before their shift, and clocked out and performed work within the 10-minute window after their shift, they were not paid for their pre-shift and post-shift work.
What does the settlement provide?
The parties reached a settlement of the case and filed a Motion for Approval on April 17, 2015, which can be obtained here. Motion for Approval. On April 20, 2015, the Court approved the settlement. CMHA's Settlement Payment of $410,000.00, after deductions approved by the Court, will be divided proportionally into Individual Payments for which the Representative Plaintiff, 32 Existing Opt-In Party Plaintiffs, and 762 Eligible Settlement Participants will be eligible.
Is the settlement fair and reasonable?
Employees who join the Settlement will receive no less than 28.8483% (their "Minimum Settlement Payment") and no more than 100% (their "Maximum Settlement Payment") of their overtime damages, and the amount received will depend on the number of employees who join the Settlement. Plaintiffs' Counsel estimate that the opt-in rate will be between 50% and 60%.
Assuming a 60% opt-in rate, and an even distribution of damages, each employee who joins the Settlement will likely receive approximately 48% of their maximum potential overtime damages during the three-year limitations period, and approximately 72% of their overtime damages during the two-year limitations period, after deductions approved by the Court.
Am I part of the class?
The class consists of all current and former hourly, non-exempt employees of CMHA who incurred overtime hours for time clocked in during grace periods before and after their shifts between July 24, 2011 and the present.
Who represents the class?
Plaintiff Elkanard Smith and the class are represented by Anthony J. Lazzaro and Sonia M. Whitehouse of The Lazzaro Law Firm, LLC. They can be reached at 216-696-5000.
How do I get involved?
All class members will receive a notice that will explain how they receive a payment. The notice will be mailed on May 4, 2015.
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