United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
BARCLAY SURRICK, J.
before the Court is the parties' Joint Motion For An
Order Approving Settlement (ECF No. 19). For the reasons that
follow, we will grant the Motion and approve the proposed
Turhan Redden filed this action against Defendants, The
King's Corner Pub, LLC and The Drake Tavern, LLC,
alleging that Defendants failed to pay him and similarly
situated employees overtime compensation, in violation of the
Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the
Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, and the Pennsylvania Wage
Payment and Collection Law. See 29 U.S.C.
§§ 206(b) and 207(a)(1); 43 Pa. Stat. and Cons.
Stat. Ann. § 333.113; Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann.
§ 260.1, et seq.
addition, Plaintiff alleged, on his own behalf, a claim
against Defendant King's Corner for violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101,
et seq. (“ADA”), and claims against both
Defendants for violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act,
29 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq. (“FMLA”),
and for wrongful discharge under Pennsylvania common law. In
his individual claims, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants
failed to engage in an interactive process to determine a
reasonable accommodation for his disability resulting from a
hernia injury, terminated him on account of his disability,
interfered with his rights under the FMLA, and retaliated
against him for attempting to exercise his rights under the
ADA, FMLA, and Pennsylvania worker's compensation law.
and Defendants have settled their dispute and seek approval
of the proposed Settlement Agreement resolving all of
Redden's individual claims against
claim may be compromised or settled in two ways: (1) a
compromise supervised by the Department of Labor pursuant to
29 U.S.C. § 216(c); or (2) a compromise approved by the
district court pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).
Cuttic v. Crozer-Chester Med. Ctr., 868 F.Supp.2d
464, 466 (E.D. Pa. 2012) (citing Lynn's Food Stores,
Inc. v. United States ex rel. U.S. Dep't of Labor,
Emp't Standards, Admin., Wage & Hour Div., 679
F.2d 1350, 1354 (11th Cir. 1982)); see also Lyons v.
Gerhard's Inc., No. 14-06693, 2015 WL 4378514, at *3
(E.D. Pa. July 16, 2015).
district court may approve a FLSA settlement where it
represents a “fair and reasonable resolution of a bona
fide dispute.” Lynn's Food Stores, 679
F.2d at 1355; see also, e.g., Nwogwugwu v. Spring Meadows
at Lansdale, Inc., No. 16-2663, 2017 WL 2215264, at *2
(E.D. Pa. May 18, 2017); In re Chickie's &
Pete's Wage and Hour Litig., No. 12-6820, 2014 WL
911718, at*2 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 7, 2014). “A proposed
settlement agreement resolves a bona fide dispute if it
‘reflects a reasonable compromise over issues, such as
FLSA coverage or computation of back wages, that are actually
in dispute' and is not a ‘mere waiver of statutory
rights brought about by an employer's
overreaching.'” McGee v. Ann's Choice,
Inc., No. 12-2664, 2014 WL 2514582, at *2 (E.D. Pa. June
4, 2014) (quoting Lynn's Food Stores, 679 F.2d
court is satisfied that the dispute is bona fide, it then
conducts a two-part inquiry. The court first evaluates
whether the proposed settlement is fair and reasonable to the
employee or employees involved and, if it is, the court then
evaluates whether the agreement “furthers or
impermissibly frustrates the implementation of [the] FLSA in
the workplace.” Id. at *2; see also,
e.g., Nwogwugwu, 2017 WL 2215264 at *2; In
re Chickie's & Pete's, 2014 WL 911718 at
The Settlement Is A Fair and Reasonable Resolution Of A Bona
threshold matter, a bona fide dispute exists regarding
Plaintiff's FLSA claims. Plaintiff's Complaint
alleged that he worked approximately five to ten hours of
overtime per week, that he was not paid the overtime premium
for those hours, and that Defendants failed to track, record
and report all hours worked by Plaintiff. (Compl.
¶¶ 33-36, ECF No. 1.) Defendants denied these
allegations in their Answer, and they maintain this position
in the Settlement Agreement. (Answer ¶¶ 33-36, ECF
No. 9; Agreement at Recitals & ¶ 4, Joint Mem. Ex.
1, ECF No. 19.) See also Nwogwugwu, 2017 WL 2215264
to the Settlement Agreement terms, we find that they are fair
and reasonable to Plaintiff. We note that from the inception
of this dispute through the negotiation of the settlement and
its submission for Court approval, Plaintiff has been
represented by counsel, who investigated the facts and law
relevant to Plaintiff's claims and negotiated the
resolution memorialized in the Settlement Agreement.
Plaintiff's counsel has acknowledged that there would be
substantial expenses involved in continuing this litigation,
along with significant risks involved ...