Plaintiffs from New York, Illinois, and Maryland submitted a motion for preliminary settlement approval to the Manhattan court overseeing their Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) class action. Wednesday’s filing explains that the plaintiffs and primary defendants Cision US Inc. and Cision Ltd. (together Cision) reached a deal in late May which purportedly represents a meaningful recovery for the class.
The plaintiffs, sales employees of Cision, a public relations software and services provider, contends that the company shorted them overtime wages. For its part, Cision denies the allegations.
The settlement followed 18 months of contested litigation including motion practice and discovery, the motion says. In October 2021 and again in February 2022, the parties discussed settlement, which the plaintiffs note they tried to achieve before the litigants incurred significant additional discovery expenses.
The approval motion says the $325,000 non-reversionary settlement resolves the claims of the 38 named and opt-in plaintiffs. It argues that the conciliation represents almost two-thirds of the eligible settlement members’ unpaid wages, a percentage accepted by Second Circuit courts.
The plaintiffs further contend that courts routinely use a one-step approval process for FLSA settlements that do not include Rule 23 classes. Unlike the latter, members of FLSA settlements do not forgo their right to bring their own suits at a later date by failing to opt-in, the motion says.
“The settlement is the result of contested litigation, reached after significant motion practice and extensive discovery, and was resolved through arm’s-length negotiations between counsel,” the filing concludes.