Inyo County, employees ink overtime pay calculation settlement

By Carrie Salls | Oct 31, 2018

Inyo County Courthouse   Wikimedia Commons

SACRAMENTO — Nine employees at the County of Inyo will receive almost $1,000 each in a settlement with their employer following a class-action lawsuit over allegations of illegal overtime pay-rate calculations.

The employees, who have worked for the County of Inyo from at least July 2014, alleged in their 2017 complaint that the county violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by “use of an illegal compensation computation method, which under-calculated plaintiffs’ regular rate of pay and resulted in underpayment with respect to overtime hours,” according to the court settlement order, filed on Oct. 18.

The employees, led by lead plaintiffs Amanda Wagner and Heather Lind, were those who had "worked overtime and received cash in lieu of benefits payments,” the order said.

The settlement calls for the county to pay $8,650 altogether, about half for the underpaid overtime and the rest as additional payment.

U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd   California Eastern District Court

“Roughly half of this amount, $4,203.46, is based on FLSA damages, calculated over a period of three years and then doubled to account for liquidated damages,” the order said. “These numbers were based on an analysis of defendant’s time and payroll records produced during informal discovery.”

In addition to this first amount—which adds up to $467.05 per plaintiff—each plaintiff would also receive another $494.06, “which plaintiffs’ counsel explains is ‘to ensure that all plaintiffs receive a substantial recovery,'” the order said. The plaintiffs’ counsel told the court that the extra payment would mean each plaintiff would get more under the settlement than they would have received following a successful trial.

“Because each plaintiff will be compensated at more than twice their maximum potential recovery under the FLSA, this factor weighs heavily in favor of approving the settlement agreement,” U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd said in the order.

In addition to approving the settlement, Drozd dismissed the lawsuit and ordered that the case be closed.

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