Acevedo v. Brightview Landscape
$4.8 Million Settlement
Date of Verdict:
Court and Case No.:
M.D. of Pa. 3:13-cv-02529.
Malachy E. Manion.
Type of Action:
Employer failed to pay overtime.
Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen, Berger & Montague, Philadelphia; C. Andrew Head, Head Law Firm, Atlanta.
Daniel E. Turner, Littler Mendelson, Atlanta.
A group of landscapers suing their employer for overtime pay have settled their class action lawsuit for roughly $4.8 million, with their lawyers netting $1.5 million in fees.
U.S. District Judge Malachy E. Mannion of the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted final approval of the settlement agreement in Acevedo v. Brightview Landscapes.
The plaintiffs claimed that Brightview Landscape, formerly the Brickman Group, failed to pay overtime to its full-time, salaried supervisors because it paid only half-time overtime pay on a fluctuating workweek basis, according to Mannion’s opinion.
The settlement covers 839 workers who were paid by Brightview, formerly known as The Brickman Group, and performed work in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington or Wisconsin between Oct. 8, 2010, and June 8, 2014.
It covers employees who were paid a salary and were also eligible for half-time overtime fluctuating workweek pay.
Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen of Berger & Montague in Philadelphia represented the class and did not return a call seeking comment. C. Andrew Head of the Head Law Firm was co-lead class counsel with Schalman-BergenBergen.
Brightview’s attorney, Daniel E. Turner of Littler Mendelson in Atlanta, did not respond to a request for comment.
All class members are divided into two groups, according to Mannion: Group one consists of 476 Fair Labor Standards Act collective group members who opted in at the start of class action, including all the named plaintiffs, and all collective group members who worked in Pennsylvania, regardless of their original opt-in status.
Group two, with 345 members, consists of all other eligible settlement participants who did not opt-in at the beginning and other than those Pennsylvania workers, who accepted offers to participate in the settlement.
Considering all the factors, Mannion said the settlement was a fair resolution to the litigation.
“The resulting settlement compensates the FLSA collective group for the defendant’s potential wrongdoing while taking into account the attendant risks of further litigation,” Mannion said. “The amount received by class members will reflect a pro rata share of the sum of money set aside for claims. This share figure is based on actual timekeeping records of hours worked on an individualized basis.”
“Moreover,” he continued, “the defendant changed its method of computing overtime compensation in June of 2014. Thus, not only will those in the FLSA class be fairly compensated for any potential wrongdoing, employees hired after the defendant’s change in pay practices will likely benefit from this action. Thus, the benefits reach beyond the settlement itself. This result clearly furthers the purpose of the FLSA to protect workers and ensure they are paid appropriately. Accordingly, the parties amended settlement agreement will be finally approved with respect to the collective group’s FLSA claims.”