Federal Judge Denies FLSA Settlement

May 17th, 2012 by JBWK

The Fair Labor Standards Act is one the most complex federal employment laws–and no doubt one of the most violated. However, it’s also unique in that any settlement of a FLSA lawsuit must be approved by the court or the Department of Labor. And that’s not as easy as it may seem.

An Alexandria federal judge rejected one such settlement this week, finding no support for the amount of damages, reasonableness of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees, or the inclusion of the settlement agreement’s confidentiality provision. The judge ruled the parties must provide some basis for the amount of the settlement and attorneys’ fees before he would approve the settlement. He also ruled that he would not allow the settlement agreement to contain a strict confidentiality agreement because it would frustrate the FLSA’s purpose.

The case is a good reminder to employers (and their attorneys) of the unique nature of FLSA settlements.


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