District Judge William H. Pauley III


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Olano was a sample maker employed by gown and wedding dress designer Rahm’s firm Designs by RJR Ltd. (collectively Designs by RJR). Invoking the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law (NYLL), Olano sued Designs by RJR for failure to pay overtime and violating various statutory notice and recordkeeping requirements. After they agreed to settle their dispute the parties jointly sought the court’s approval of their confidential settlement agreement. Alternatively they sought that their agreement be filed under seal, or that a redacted version be publicly filed with an unredacted version of their agreement filed under seal. In addition to concluding that the parties did not show any compelling reason for redacting their settlement agreement, the court denied the parties’ request for the settlement’s approval. It was unable to determine, from the parties’ submissions, whether the settlement was “fair and reasonable” as required by Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House 796 F.3d 199. The court also noted that the settlement agreement essentially complied a “greatest hits” of various provisions struck down or otherwise questioned by the instant court and other courts in the Second Circuit.