District Judge Vernon S. Broderick

 

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Plaintiffs, without opposition from defendants, moved for an order granting preliminary approval of the proposed class and collective action settlement agreement and release, conditionally certifying the proposed class, approving the proposed notice of settlement and appointing class counsel and representatives. Putative class action alleged that defendants violated the FLSA and New York Labor Law by failing to pay the putative class members, who worked in “tipped” service positions for defendants, the prevailing minimum wage and overtime and by illegally retaining tips and distributing tips to ineligible employees. The court found the proposed settlement waiver overbroad by requiring plaintiffs to waive any type of claim–whether or not it was related to the present wage and hour claims. The court further found that the parties failed to offer any basis to establish that such an overbroad release provided plaintiffs with any legitimate benefits. Because the release was not reasonable, the court declined to approve the preliminary settlement. Finally, because settlement approval was denied, the court denied plaintiffs’ requests for conditional class certification, appointment of class counsel, and approval of class notice.