Class action lawsuits are often settled outside of court in order to avoid the hassle and expense of arguing the case in the courts. The larger the class, the longer both parties could be stuck in court, presenting all their evidence to a judge and jury. Although settling outside of court is one way to save time, coming up with a settlement that both parties can agree on can also take months, if not years, to accomplish.
After three years of negotiating, a class of plaintiffs who filed a class action wage and hour lawsuit against Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel and Miracle Springs Resort & Spa have finally agreed to settle the lawsuit with the two related companies.
The wage and hour lawsuit was filed in California on behalf of all hourly, non-exempt employees who worked for one or both of the hotels in California. The lawsuit was therefore filed under California labor law and alleges several violations of state law.
California employment law requires employers to provide all their workers with regular meal and rest breaks throughout the day. For every four hours of work, an employee is entitled to one paid, uninterrupted rest break lasting at least ten minutes. For every five hours worked, an employee is entitled to one unpaid, uninterrupted meal break of at least half an hour. For every day an employee does not take one of these breaks, for any reason, she is entitled to one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages, tips, and bonuses earned that day.
California also requires employers to compensate their workers in a timely manner. Any time a worker’s employment is terminated, all wages are due in full within 72 hours after the termination. If an employee provides at least 72 hours notice prior to termination of employment, then all her wages are due upon termination.
The current class action wage and hour lawsuit against Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel and Miracle Springs Resort and Spa alleges the two hotels failed to provide their employees with the required meal and rest periods, or to compensate them accordingly when these breaks were missed. The class action lawsuit also alleges the hotels failed to provide the proper overtime wages when employees worked overtime, failed to pay the proper minimum wages, and failed to provide all wages due to an employee at the time of termination.
Federal labor law also requires employers to provide all their workers with accurate itemized wage statements along with their paychecks. These statements must define, among other things, the pay period, the employee’s hourly wage, the number of hours the employee worked within the pay period, the total hours paid to the employee, and all deductions made from the employee’s pay, such as taxes, social security, and health insurance.
The current class action lawsuit alleges the hotels failed to provide its employees with accurate itemized wage statements. It also alleges the hotels made illegal deductions from employees’ wages.
The hotels continue to deny having done anything illegal, but they have agreed to settle the lawsuit for $1.5 million in order to avoid the hassle and expense of continuing to fight the dispute in court. The proposed settlement covers all non-exempt employees who worked at Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel and/or Miracle Springs Resort & Spa any time between July 31, 2008 and June 8, 2015.
The settlement still requires approval from a court judge, but if it succeeds in making it through both rounds of approval, and none of the class members opt out of the settlement, then each class member will receive an average of a little under $1,000, depending on how many weeks they worked within the class period.
The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims by waiters and bus boys and other restaurant and hotel workers against national restaurant chains including Hilton, W, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Applebees, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Outback Steak House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s and hotels for mis-classifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim these wage theft practices call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The Chicago class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Midlothian and Blue Island. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our McCook and Hickory Hills overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers mis-classify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.