Gonzalez v. Old Lisbon Restaurant & Bar LLC et al
ORDER granting 51 Joint Motion for Approval of Parties' Settlement Agreement; closing case; and dismissing the case with prejudice. Signed by Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman on 5/23/2012. (dkc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Case No. 11-21147-CIV-GOODMAN
PASTOR JESUS GONZALEZ and all others
similarly situated under 29 U.S.C. 216(B),
OLD LISBON RESTAURANT & BAR L.L.C.,
OLD LISBON SUNSET, L.L.C., and
ORDER APPROVING FLSA SETTLEMENT
This matter is before the Court on the parties’ Joint Motion for Approval of Parties’
Settlement Agreement and Dismissal With Prejudice. [ECF No. 51].
In general, the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA are mandatory and
not subject to negotiation or bargaining between employers and employees.
Savings Bank v. O’Neil, 324 U.S. 697 (1945). However, there are two ways employees may
settle and waive a claim against their employer for unpaid minimum wages or overtime pay
under the FLSA: (1) if the payment of unpaid minimum wage/overtime pay is supervised by the
Secretary of Labor or (2) in a private lawsuit brought by an employee, if the parties present the
district court with a proposed settlement and the court enters an order approving the fairness of
the settlement. 29 U.S.C. § 216(c); Lynn’s Food Stores, Inc. v. U.S., 679 F.2d 1350, 1353 (11th
Cir. 1982); see also Schulte, Inc. v. Gangi, 328 U.S. 108 (1946).
An employee may settle and release FLSA claims against his employer without the
supervision of the Secretary of Labor if all of the following conditions are met: (1) the settlement
occurs in an adversarial context; (2) there are issues of FLSA coverage and/or computations
actually in dispute; and (3) the district court enters an order approving the settlement after
scrutinizing the fairness of the settlement. Lynn’s Food Stores, 679 F.2d at 1354.
The Court reviewed the terms of the settlement agreement, which the parties filed as an
attachment to their joint motion. The Court considered the factors outlined in Lynn’s Food
Stores, including the strength of the parties’ cases, the factual positions of the parties, the
existence (or lack thereof) of documents supporting or corroborating the parties’ positions, the
strength and weaknesses in the parties’ respective cases and the parties’ desire to resolve the
dispute sooner, rather than later.
The Court finds that the settlement here represents a genuine compromise of a bona fide
dispute. The plaintiff has accepted less money than he claims he is owed while the defendants,
who have denied liability, have agreed to pay plaintiff more than they believe he is due under the
law. Both have agreed to settle as a result of reasonable strategic and financial considerations.
Therefore, the Court finds that the settlement here occurred in an adversarial context and
that there are genuine coverage and computation issues in dispute. The Court further finds that
the settlement reached by the parties represents a reasonable compromise by both sides and is
fair and reasonable. Accordingly, it is
ORDERED and ADJ UDGED that the parties’ settlement agreement is fair and
reasonable, the settlement is APPROVED and this action is DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE. The Clerk is Directed to CLOSE THIS CASE and all pending motions are
denied as moot.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Miami, Florida, this 23rd day of May, 2012.
Copies provided to:
Counsel of Record
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?