FOCUS: Commercial & Business Litigation
Wage and Hour Dispute Contained and Settled
CHALLENGE: A national grocery store chain retained GCT to defend against a wage and hour lawsuit alleging failure to track and pay overtime. The case was threatening to become a class action suit on behalf of all employees because of questions surrounding certain pay practices that applied to individuals company-wide. The plaintiff was seeking several years’ worth of alleged unpaid overtime, plus liquidated damages, statutory interest, and attorneys’ fees.
STRATEGY: Understanding that there had been a growing trend in recent years of wage and hour disputes, we knew that this case would be challenging. The plaintiff brought both federal and state statutory claims, alleging that the employee worked more hours than he reported to his employer and that, as a result, he was due substantial overtime pay. We challenged plaintiff’s joint employer argument and were able to have six of the eight named defendants dismissed from the litigation. We were also able to defeat plaintiff’s attempt to turn the lawsuit into a collective action. During depositions, we were able to demonstrate inconsistencies in plaintiff’s arguments that substantially limited any potential liability.
RESULTS: After the complaint survived summary judgment due to the factual issues involved, we were able to settle the case for less than the amount authorized by our client.