Lyons v. Darden Restaurants, Inc.
OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 7/3/2014. (wcl, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION
DAVID E. LYONS, Jr.,
DARDEN RESTAURANTS, INC.
d/b/a LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE, )
CIVIL ACTION NO.
In this lawsuit brought pursuant to the Fair Labor
Standards Act (“FLSA”), as amended,
29 U.S.C. § 201 et
seq., the court has before it the parties’ joint motion
for approval of an amended settlement agreement.
court also has before it the amended settlement agreement
signed by all parties.
Today, a hearing was held on the
motion for approval.
Plaintiff David E. Lyons, Jr., filed his complaint
against defendant Darden Restaurants, Inc. in federal
court, asserting that the company improperly classified
him as an exempt employee and denied him overtime pay
based on that incorrect status.
Jurisdiction is proper
pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) (FLSA) and 28 U.S.C. §
1331 (federal question).
Later, the parties filed the pending motion for
approval of the amended settlement agreement.
employee brings a private action under the FLSA and
presents a proposed settlement agreement to the district
judgment after scrutinizing the settlement for fairness.”
Lynn’s FoodStores, Inc. v. United States Dept. Of Labor,
679 F.2d 1350, 1353 (11th Cir. 1982).
At the hearing on the motion, the parties’ counsel
represented that the agreement was fair and reasonable.
Further, Lyons stated that he was satisfied with the
agreement, which provides that he is to receive $ 4000,
with $ 400 of that to go to his attorney.
parties represented that they had deleted provisions in
disclosing the terms and existence of the settlement
unless required under law and would have prevented him
from bringing legal claims unrelated to FLSA.
v. Allstate Beverage Co., Inc., 821 F. Supp. 2d 1274,
1283-84 (M.D. Ala. 2011) (Thompson, J.) (finding that
confidentiality provisions unequally benefit the employer
and frustrate FLSA goals); id. at 1284 (“[A]n employer is
not entitled to use an FLSA claim (a matter arising from
leverage a release from liability unconnected to the
FLSA.”) (quoting Moreno v. Regions Bank, 729 F. Supp. 2d
1346, 1351 (M.D. Fla. 2010) (Merryday, J.)); on July 3,
Todd v. Daewon Am., Inc., 2014 WL 2608454 (M.D.
Ala. June 11, 2014) (Thompson, J.)
(“the parties must
have some reason, other than their own mere desire, to
records”); see also Elizabeth Wilkins, Silent Workers,
Disappearing Rights: Confidential Settlements and the
Fair Labor Standards Act, 34 Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L.
109, 113 (2013) (“Congress’s intent to protect both the
public’s interest in a well-functioning economy and the
vulnerable worker subject to unequal bargaining dynamics
militates against secret settlements”).
Having reviewed the amended agreement and considered
counsel, the court finds that the parties have reached an
agreement based on a negotiated, good-faith compromise of
provisions of the FLSA and of wages owed under the FLSA
compensated for his overtime work.
The court, therefore,
finds that the amended agreement reflects a fair and
reasonable resolution of the dispute between the parties.
approval of the proposed amended settlement agreement
will be entered.
DONE, this the 3rd day of July, 2014.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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