Judge Sidney Stein

After conditionally certifying a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action, and a New York Labor Law Rule 23 class, the court approved the parties’ $850,000 settlement. Plaintiffs’ counsel, Minneapolis-based law firm Nichols Kaster, sought fees, litigation costs and service awards. In addition to approving a fee award of $283,333—one-third of the settlement’s $850,000 common fund—and finding the service awards reasonable, the court awarded Nichols Kaster $46,064 in costs. Other than in-house photocopying charges, the court found reasonable Nichols’ requested reimbursements for out-of-pocket costs. Noting that federal district courts in New York routinely reimburse photocopying a 10 to 15 cents a page, the court determined that Nichols Kaster did not justify a rate of 25 cents for each of 978 copied pages. As to the $283,333 fee award, the court—considering the time and labor expended by Nichols Kaster as the effective equivalent to a lodestar calculation as a cross-check to the Second Circuit’s routine grant of a percentage award—found the award of one-third of the $850,000 settlement fund reasonable in light of all relevant circumstances.