Lowe’s to pay $29.5 Million to settle overtime lawsuit
September 23, 2009
• Settles class action out of court
• Suit was originally filed eight years ago
Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) has agreed to pay $29.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit that argued it had required “thousands” of hourly workers to toil “off the clock.”
Two former Lowe’s employees alleged that they and thousands of other hourly Lowe’s workers were required to work before and after their normal shifts but were not paid for the extra work
The out of court settlement was announced by the attorneys for the current and former employees, Stanley Saltzman, Louis Marlin, Mark Bradley and Christina Humphrey of Marlin & Saltzman, and by R. Rex Parris and Robert Parris of the R. Rex Parris Law Firm.
Earlier, Lowe’s denied all of the claims raised in the lawsuit. The company, contacted Wednesday for comment, said it could not comment directly on the settlement but a spokeswoman said the company believes it is in compliance with all laws and regulations.
The settlement was approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles Superior Court, shortly before the case was to finally go to trial.
The case was originally filed in October of 2001. It was litigated for over seven years and raised legal issues that were twice resolved by the California Court of Appeal, say the plaintiffs’ attorneys.
In one decision, the Court of Appeal confirmed the right of plaintiffs in a proposed class action to have contact with potential class members in order to obtain information that would assist in the prosecution of the action. That 2003 published decision, Parris vs. Superior Court (Lowe’s HIW) 104 Cal.App.4th 285, became important precedent in California, the attorneys say.
The second decision by the Court of Appeal came after the trial court had denied the plaintiffs' motion to certify the case as a class action. Not only did the Court of Appeal reverse the decision by the trial court but, in an unusual move, rather than ordering the lower court to reconsider the issue, actually ordered that the case be granted class certification status.
It is anticipated that settlement proceeds will be sent to claimants by the end of this year.