Bozeman v. The City of Opp, Alabama et al
OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 6/25/2015. (wcl, ) (Main Document 42 replaced on 6/25/2015) (wcl, ). Modified on 6/25/2015 to attach a corrected PDF document of the Opinion to correct a typographical error due to a clerical error (wcl, ).
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION
CITY OF OPP, ALABAMA, )
UTILITIES DEPARTMENT, )
THE UTILITIES BOARD OF )
CITY OF OPP,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
This cause is before the court on the joint motion
to approve a settlement between plaintiff Tracy Bozeman
and defendants City of Opp, Opp Utilities Department,
and the Utilities Board of the City of Opp.
held an on-the-record conference call on the motion on
For the reasons that follow, the settlement
will be approved.
The Equal Pay Act is codified as part of the
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219.
Bozeman’s Equal Pay Act claim sought damages for unpaid
Because the FLSA was enacted to protect workers
from the poor wages and long hours that can result from
mandatory and, except in two narrow circumstances, are
Savings Bank v. O’Neil, 324 U.S. 697, 706 (1945).
employees who accept such payments waive their rights
to bring suits for liquidated damages, provided the
§ 216(c); Lynn’s Food Stores, Inc. v. United States,
Stalnaker v. Novar Corp., 293 F. Supp. 2d 1260, 1262
(M.D. Ala. 2003) (Thompson, J.).
The second route to settlement, and the one that is
private action for back wages under 29 U.S.C. § 216(b),
the employee and employer present a proposed settlement
to the district court, and the district court reviews
the judgment and enters it as “a stipulated judgment.”
Lynn’s Food Stores, 679 F.2d at 1354-1355 (“Settlements
may be permissible in the context of a suit brought by
initiation of the action by the employees provides some
assurance of an adversarial context.
The employees are
likely to be represented by an attorney who can protect
their rights under the statute.
Thus, when the parties
compromise of disputed issues than a mere waiver of
In reviewing a settlement of an FLSA private claim,
settlement is a “fair and reasonable resolution of a
bona fide dispute over FLSA provisions.”
Id. at 1355.
“If a settlement in an employee FLSA suit does reflect
actually in dispute[,] ... the district court [may]
approve the settlement in order to promote the policy
of encouraging settlement of litigation.”
Id. at 1354.
In this case, there are bona fide disputes over
FLSA provisions, namely whether Bozeman and a similarly
situated male comparator performed “equal work on jobs
effort, and responsibility, and which [were] performed
under similar working conditions,” as is required for
§§ 206(d)(1), 216.
settlement is a fair and reasonable resolution of these
voluntarily entered into the settlement.
release the defendants from any claims and causes of
action that she has or could have against them up to
the date of settlement, including claims arising from
Under the terms of her contingency-fee
agreement, Bozeman’s counsel will be paid half of her
award, that is, $ 12,500, and this amount will cover
any costs that Bozeman’s attorneys have incurred in
filing and prosecuting this action.
of Bozeman’s testimony and the court’s knowledge of the
facts and circumstances of this case, the court will
approve the settlement.
An appropriate judgment will be entered.
DONE, this the 25th day of June, 2015.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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